Monday, October 12, 2015

Surviving the film adaptation of your favorite book

Ok I know, like many of you, I get very excited when I see that a book that stole my heart is going to be brought to the silver screen. However, many if not all of the time I find myself disappointed in the film adaptation. This caused me to look at why I was disappointed and why it just kept happening. The truth is most of the time it always will. From what I can tell it is for two reasons:

1- Cast- Which I want to point out first is not always the actors fault ( Sometimes it is) It has to do with the readers expectation for the character. When we read we get to develop a visual of what that character looks like but once it is movie time it is the director whose vision of the character that we see. And I hate to say it but their visualization of the character and yours will not always match up. I have heard this complain numerous times about Josh Hutchinson in Hunger Games. I regularly hear, "Peeta doesn't look like that, he is a taller and a stronger guy." Josh is a great actor who I would never take anything away from but many are not happy with him as Peeta. I even heard someone say it ruined the movie for them. I tested this theory by asking several people who read my book to cast my characters with any actor/actress they wanted. I found the result very interesting. None of them would have cast the same actor in the same role. How they saw the character and how they wanted to see the character on screen was very different. If you are going to survive this hurdle in enjoying your book to screen adaption you have to go in with an open mind to others interpretations of the characters.

2- Time- I say time because it is an issue when it comes to a film. A book can go on for as long as the author wants but a movie is normally restrained to about two hours. Take a 600 pages book and put it into a 2 hour movie and don't cut anything out? That would be a mission impossible. They will cut parts out of the book to fit time. They also do it to take out parts the director and screen writer feel drag the story or are not important to the story line. I made the error of reading "Half-blood Prince" right before seeing the movie. I was enraged at the movie. They cut out a ton of the story and to this day I never watch that movie despite watching the other Harry Potter films all the time. Surviving this one is a struggle you have to be prepared to lose parts of the story. The worst part is you may lose a part you really enjoyed.  

The fact is this. If you are truly enjoyed the book, take the time to give the film the same open mind you gave the book in the first place. If you don't think you can do it, don't waste your time on the movie. It will just disappoint you and maybe ruin your enjoyment of the book.

What are your thoughts?


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