Got a question about film adaptations from books

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Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Sunwolf007 on Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:55 pm

At work I read this cracked article which talks about authors who like film adaptations better than their own writing. Personally, I always like a book or comic book version better than a movie adaptation. It was what the original author was working with and always portrays the story better. My opinion aside, how would you feel if someone took a book you wrote, changed it and made it into a movie? Would you be mad? Would you like the different take on the story?

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Re: Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:41 am

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Re: Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Sunwolf007 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:12 pm

I agree that movies/tv shows use a different means of portraying the story and would show a different perspective. I'm surprised that authors would let major changes to their storylines happen like that, but they probably have less control over the direction of movies than I think. What was cool to see was that main story line things were changed and the author actually liked the changes. I would think that if I made a novel and a movie changed story line content I wouldn't be pleased.

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Re: Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:02 pm

I wouldn't mind. Honestly, even when I've read books first and watched the movies after, I don't feel slighted about any changes that were made. They're two different mediums and basically two different creators. It's like how many Sherlock Holmes interpretations there have been. I'm not sure how Arthur Conan Doyle would feel seeing all the different interpretations but I think he'd be a bit psyched that so many people were inspired and influenced by the character and stories he wrote.

Any changes made to a story through the transition of medium, I chock up to it being an interpretation, a "based on", rather than a strict translation from book to screen. If I was approached by a studio or a director or someone wanting to make a movie or tv show from something I wrote, I'd have trouble getting past the overwhelming burst of joy just from that. What an ego stroke! And I think I'd give the producers and all leeway to do their own interpretation of it. Even if they twisted stuff around and ended up making the good guy the bad guy or changed the theme and core message... if I liked the movie, I wouldn't have a problem with the associations with my work. Because at the point that changes are made it's not my book anymore, it's something different, it's a new story created by the film crew. My book/story will always be out there for anyone to pick up and read. THAT representation of my story won't go away. So long as that didn't change, I don't think I'd be threatened by some studio making their big budget fan-work.

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Re: Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Sunwolf007 on Sun May 08, 2016 7:08 pm

I feel that is a good perspective on the issue. I'm not sure I would be able to mentally separate the two though. Whenever I see a movie adapted from a book that I've read I'm always disappointed. This even applies to movies based on things like mythology, especially with the recent (last 5 or so years) movies that have been made. I always like the source material better. The same is true for the reverse or novels based on movies. The movie is always better because it portrays the original writer's perspective the best. I guess I bit more of a purest than you. I understand why they made the movie but deep down I'm always a bit disappointed.

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Re: Got a question about film adaptations from books

Post by Guest on Mon May 09, 2016 12:52 am

Sunwolf007 wrote:I feel that is a good perspective on the issue. I'm not sure I would be able to mentally separate the two though. Whenever I see a movie adapted from a book that I've read I'm always disappointed. This even applies to movies based on things like mythology, especially with the recent (last 5 or so years) movies that have been made. I always like the source material better. The same is true for the reverse or novels based on movies. The movie is always better because it portrays the original writer's perspective the best. I guess I bit more of a purest than you. I understand why they made the movie but deep down I'm always a bit disappointed.
I can totally understand that, because I too had that urge at first. You get possessive over your creations. Then I think about 2 things: 1. how much I adore fanfiction. There were some stories I've read over the years where I thought, "Why aren't they doing this professionally?/If they are, then where can I buy their stuff?" And fanart as well, leaving me thinking, "put this on a T-shirt so I can buy it and wear it!" But they often used the canon characters in ways that the original creators would not be too happy about. Still, reading fanfictions, I'm not disturbed by the changes they make or the way they stretch character relationships to fit new molds. I usually love both renditions on their own or as related works even when they do "branch off storylines." A few years back when I was into Supernatural, I really liked several fanfics that went back through some of the action of the show with new interpretations of character interactions or they followed the action to a certain point before breaking off into its own "timeline." Like, instead of forcing Castiel to go away(like he did in the show), Dean declared his love for him and it made different stuff happen. Both versions I like but liking one doesn't make my appreciation for the other to suddenly disappear.

And 2. a lot of times, I hate the originals. Like, to use Sherlock Holmes again, I tried reading some of his original stories and the arrogant, smugness doesn't transfer well on paper. The entirety of the stories I tried to read were just suffused with "look how great and smart I am!" and I couldn't tell if it was Doyle or the narrator or Holmes who's attitude was being portrayed. That can be fun in a character on screen but it was not pleasant reading. They've made films like the Robert Downey Jr. films or the show Elementary so much more entertaining and people friendly. Arthur Conan Doyle might feel bad that I said that but honestly, with how many changes these works have made, they're really beyond his work and turned into something else.

So, I guess that's where I get that point of view from, that kind of shakes loose the possessive feeling over my creation. If you prefer the originals and if you don't like fanfiction, then I can understand the purist view. It's like, I'm kind of excited to see how people draw my characters or what kind of fiction they'd write. Because it's different, no doubt it'll be different than what I imagined and put down but that's the fun part. The writer is God. God makes man and man makes his own little universes with people in them. Look at how creative and entertaining man is being! Blowing it up on a national big-budget scale doesn't matter because it's still fanfiction and fanart, with cameras and actors.

One thing I'd ask you is how do you feel about remakes? Like, when they reboot a superhero series of movies or completely redo a film from the 80's or 70's? There have been tons of remakes that I've preferred, especially if they made changes. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Departed, True Grit, The Amityville Horror, The Goodbye Girl, The Crazies. Something like Psycho(1998) with Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche really disappointed me. The director Gus Van Sant pulled several scenes from the original film and redid them frame by frame with the new actors. It felt like he had nothing new to say; you might as well just watch the original because Vince Vaughn's delivery is a bit flat and lifeless.

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