I hesitated to ask this question of you but I’m going to ask it to alleviate my conscience. The other day an old lady talked my ear off for a whole 8 hours as we travelled from Boston to Miami together. I was stuck with her but damn were her stories good. Now I’m interested in wholesale ripping off her life story for a screenplay. She’s got some original stories to tell and with my flare for fiction it would make for a good film.
The thing is I don’t want her in the picture. I figure she is old and will probably never get a chance to dispute my claim to her life story. But I’ve been feeling rotten about it recently. Maybe if I asked her she would be like “sure, go ahead, I’m flattered” or “give me my money, give me my share” and then I would have to abandon the idea altogether.
Damn old ladies tell good stories but do we really have to hunt them down afterwards?
Is her story so unique that she’d be able to tell it was hers? Just change it around enough and don’t worry about it. You can’t track down every person who tells you a good story or idea.