Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book or movie?

Which is better? Audiences often are disappointed in the movie adaptation of a book. For the maker, the question has a different connotation. Which is better to create, a written piece or a video?

I am finishing a video project with students at school and besides the time it takes from my writing time, it’s a structure I’m not at ease with. They both have similarities. The difference is matter of presentation, the kind of format the story is presented in.

Each have a creative, inventive phase. It starts with a vision for an idea and then you work to develop it. It simmers and stews as your subconscious mulls it over while you sleep or mow the lawn or whatever. Then you write the rough draft. In the case of video-production, you go about planning the scenes and what the actors are to say and do. Video is a visual thing so you have to think in terms of what the camera sees. Both mediums have a creative, rough draft stage where you put ideas out there.

Then comes the revision. Once the idea is roughed out, you revise to clarify, simplify, and smooth out the edges. Revision cleans up the garbage. Editing is to video what revising is to story. You take raw footage and edit out the parts you don’t want.

They differ in the revision. Writing is a solo chore and critique groups help find areas that don’t work. Video production is more of a group effort. There is no established method of critique. More people are involved in the development, but there is less opportunity to have unbiased outside opinion.

The purpose of each is to entertain or to inform. My preferred style is written novel mode. I know it; I’m comfortable there. 


Geoff Maritz said...

Hello Bruce.
Personally I choose books, I work in the film industry, have done so for about 25 years now, but you can't take a movie to bed the way you can a book. A book can be layed down and picked up again later, you can't do that with movies.
A picture paints a thousand words, or so we are told, but words paint millions of pictures and no two readers get exactly the same picture.
An interesting post, Geoff.

Bruce Luck said...

That's an interesting choice, Geoff, coming from one with your history in film.