Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weaving Books into Movies

I think every author dreams of having their story optioned as a major motion picture. In fact, sometimes as we write, we can imagine in our minds how fabulous certain actors/actresses will look playing the different parts. It's the crown-jewels of story writing-- to see your book played out on the BIG screen. Though the process of taking a 300-page book and turning it into a viable screenplay that will sell can be difficult and painful, it is still highly worth it! Your book may or may not resemble the final show, but regardless of what the screenwriters/producers do, it's YOUR name up there in big letters.

Over the years, I've noticed there are some movies that instead of appearing to be loosely based on someone's book actually improve the it significantly. Take Mary Poppins. She's far more lovable and kind in the movie than she ever was in the book. I was shocked to read how sarcastic and demeaning the "print" nanny was. Yikes!

Another movie is The Princess Diaries. Through some skillful rewriting, they took out some potentially "delicate" material and turned the movie into mega "tweenie" hits.

Are there movies you prefer to the books? Or books destroyed by movies? What do you think? Leave your comments below.


Emily C. said...

Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted is my favorite children's book. It touched me. I laugh and cry each time I read it. But the movie was a joke. The premise was ruined, the villain completely fabricated, the entire conflict was changed. Not to mention the cardboard characters written to replace Levine's elegantly crafted characters. Really, the only thing similar between the two is the fact that Ella has to do what she's told.

Chantele said...

I agree with the previous comment! Ella Enchanted the movie was not good. I have however, loved the Harry Potter movies, even though they changed a few things, but at least they kept the basic storyline. I also love Pride and Prejudice. The BBC version, and the newer version.:)

Yamile said...

LOTR moves are fantastic. I loved the characters, the beautiful music, the photography... masterpieces!
About Harry Potter, even though I've always liked all the actors, especially the kids, the first 3 movies didn't get it, for me. In Prisoner of Azkaban that werewolf is a joke! I hated how he is portrayed! And they didn't give any backstory into the Marauders!!! Can you tell I'm still seething about it? But from Goblet on, the movies have improved. I just saw Half Blood Prince, and I completely, totally loved it!
I read Schindler's List in High School. I think the movie touched me more than the book. It's one of those cases in which an image says more than a million words.