When the Writers Guild announced the nominees for their annual awards, I’m sure more than a couple of people who actually bothered to read the nomination list were probably shocked to see Sacha Baron Cohen’s genius comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhsta (see FilmBuffOnLine review here) to be named as a contender for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Most people assumed, and the creative forces behind the film seemed happy to let them, that Borat was improvised from only the broadest of outlines. But the truth of the matter is that even though Cohen as the bumbling foreign journalist was interacting with people who were clearly not in on the joke, each encounter was meticulously planned by Cohen and three other writers- Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer, and Anthony “Ant” Hines.
Recently the group allowed the Writers Guild “out” them in the Guild’s publication Written By. Fortunately, the Guild publishes their magazine online so you don’t have to pay hefty Guild Membership fees to read the article. Just click here to read how the quartet constructed the film from etching out its main plot points to a debating over what’s the funniest kind of bag for Borat to carry a turd into a fancy dinner party.