I thought Taken was quite a good film and I wondered how the screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen worked as a pair. They come from different backgrounds. Kamen an American who is best known for writing The Karate Kid lives in New York and owns a winery in California. Besson the Frenchman who wrote The Transporter (with Kamen) grew up in places like Greece and Bulgaria because his parents were scuba instructors with Club Med.
Somewhere along the way the two met and now have worked together on several films.
“Here’s how this works. Luc and I write scripts together. We conceptualize them together, then I write them, and then he does his Luc Besson things to them, then he goes off, and he produces them. So how Taken came about was Luc came to me and said, ‘I met this cop, and he told me this amazing story about an auction of women in a chateau outside of Paris; that they broke up this ring. I think this is amazing, so let’s make up a story.’ And then we made up the story of Taken.”
Robert Mark Kamen
WGA Interview with Shira Gotsshalk
In that same interview Kamen offers this advice for those who want to be screenwriters, “Don’t read Variety. Don’t listen to gossip. Don’t live in L.A., and write. I write original screenplays every year besides the movies I get made, and I just put them away. Write what makes you excited, and if it makes you excited, and you’re any good it will excite somebody else.”