Writing The Story Of N.W.A.

Thursday, February 25th, 2016, Vanity Fair Social Club kept it West Coast with Writing The Story Of N.W.A. Hosted by Executive West Coast Editor, Krista Smith. With featured guests Andrea Berloff, and Jonathan Herman, 2 out of the 4 writers that are nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Straight Outta Compton. The bio-pic domestically grossed over $150 million dollars. 

Host Krista Smith described how her memories came flooding back, from growing up during the the time N.W.A. was popular. She screened the movie with an audience, and was happy that she chose to view the movie in a fold up chair, versus a private screening room with just a few people. Krista also said how the 2 hour plus film, felt like minutes, we couldn't have agreed with her more.

The guest panelists discussed how they became apart of Straight Outta Compton, and pretty much went from there. Andrea Berloff discussed how she was hired back in 2010, with talks of  an Eazy-E bio pic that Ice Cube was seeking to make.  New Line who has an established relationship with Ice Cube from his previous movies were on board.  Then Warner Bros attached to the project as well. Andrea described that Warner Bros wanted a cheesy ending for Eazy-E, so they ended up passing on the project. Next, Ice Cube decided that he is going to fight for the N.W.A. bio pic to be made. Straight Outta Compton was not easy to develop, one major issue was that the movie was going to star unknown actors. Where was the bankable factor to this movie? 

Jonathan Herman, had always been a fan of N.W.A. and was delighted to assist in writing the story. Andrea Berloff described how after
meeting with widow Tomica Wright, all of her pre-conceived notions about Eazy-E were completely erased. Tomica Wright's hurt and pain from her husband's death is still there. Both writers agree that N.W.A. is an image that they sold. N.W.A. are  nice artists humanity was a big part them.

We got the opportunity to ask the guests a question, about where/who did they start the writing process. Andrea started with Ice Cube and spent 3 months with him. Then went on  to the other members, people who worked with them in the music industry, DJs, fan club presidents, anyone who had real attachment with N.W.A. Then after 10 months, Andrea had up to 1,000 pages. Both of the writers completely absorbed themselves with N.W.A.'s music.

Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, and the other writers have experienced a mockery of themselves as writers for Straight Outta Compton.
With the diversity issue in Hollywood, they have had to discuss this it everyday over the last 6 weeks. It has opened up a dialog about the controversy, with diversity in Hollywood.

The writers were impressed by the social media campaign, when practically everyone posted pics with the Straight Outta caption,  where people added where they lived or grew up from. Andrea said she has even received a Straight Outta Oklahoma tee shirt. An additional impression was the diverse audience who went to see the film.

Lastly and most importantly, the writers wanted to preserve the legacy of Eric Eazy-E Wright. This was the most important for the writers, quoted saying  "Eazy-E was the soul of the movie, he made the group and he was the death of the group."
Will the box office successful movie win  Best Original Screenplay tonight? The Oscars start at 5:30 PT/ 8:30 ET on ABC.





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