Friday, June 15, 2012

Should a Movie Follow the Book Exactly?

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I swear, at A2A we did not discuss theme in advance this week, and yet we've done a great job of feeding off each other posts.

I'm going to touch on the book-to-movie angle today.

( I originally wrote a really controversial post about authors who scream how much they hate, yet still continue to sell their books on there...but decided against it and deleted it. :p )

So, let's ask the question: Should a Movie Follow the Book Exactly?


I know, I know, I always say the opposite of everyone else. How many times has a theatrical version of a beloved book caused hordes of people to tear out their hair and gnash their teeth because something wasn't "right?"

I don't do that. I don't really care if a movie is faithful to a book.

My dear cousin, who is a fan of all things fantasy, hates the Lord of the Rings movies because they aren't an exact reflection of his beloved novels. Peter Jackson changed too much and left out the parts that were important to him.

I thought the movies were amazing and have seen them a billion times. Same with Harry Potter. Twilight. Eragon. I could go on and on.

A movie is a totally different art form than a book. So why do people expect them to be a direct visual translation of the written word? It simply isn't possible.

Have you ever listened to a book on tape? It can take 40 hours to sometimes read the whole novel aloud. 40 hours. Do you want to sit in a movie theater for 40 hours? I didn't think so.

Screenwriters have to make compromises. It's the nature of adaption. I prefer to listen to my dad (who just happens to be the wisest man on the planet) when he says, "I go to the movies to be entertained, not to analyze. Sit back, relax, and enjoy."

Yeah, I know you're thinking: Well, I bet if Megg's books were made into movies, she'd feel differently. Nah, pretty sure I wouldn't change my mind. One of my friends is a screenwriter and I'd love to see what he could do with Anathema (which is still free on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBookstore, Smashwords, Kobo, Wattpad, etc - so download it now). He even discussed adding a dance scene - which I LOVED because I am a dancer. See, it's all about taking a concept and translating it in a way that entertains. I would totally be entertained by a dance scene between Reychel & Mark, even though there isn't one in the book.

Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber


Thomas Amo said...

I agree Meg, movies sometimes can make book far more popular. Think back to 1975...Jaws was a NY times bestseller...then the movie came out and the book couldn't stay on the shelf! However, Spielberg's take on the ending was 100% right for movie audiences.
If the film had ended the way the book did...Jaws would not had been the film success it was. Apples to Oranges.

Kate Fall said...

I just re-read the Shining, which is famously different than the movie. But I wouldn't change a thing about either experience, even though Stephen King disliked the movie. That movie was so visual. Darker than the book, but it worked. I've agreed with some of the changes to the Harry Potter movies as well. I actually like some of the movies better because honestly, I just read my son 3 chapters about Quidditch. And he's like, what's the penalty for a foul? And I'm like I don't know, it's not basketball, it's Quidditch!

DeenaML said...

I am totally with you. I want the ESSENCE and FEELING of a movie to be like the book, but they cannot be just visual replicas of the written version.

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