“What makes a good text to film adaptation?”
The feeling I get when I hear one of my favourite books is turning into a movie is almost indescribable. A mix of pure elation and anticipation, along with the deep churning feeling that the producers or directors of the movie would completely trash the work of art that I’d come to love. When you’ve experienced reading the words of a great story first, it seems like nothing else would ever come to par where it concerns the work. In some cases, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, like when I saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. In other cases (PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS) I have been less than impressed. But I do know that putting together a movie that’s based on a text is incredibly difficult. You want to make it a great movie, but there are millions of loyal fans ready to rip your work apart if they see one differentiation from the original, as is the trouble with some remakes. I’ve experienced many adaptations from the viewer’s perspective, but for my inquiry I would like to step into the shoes of the people who are behind the scenes and in charge of adapting a book into a movie.
What I currently know about the process, not to mention filmmaking itself, is limited. I would assume that there are people in charge of developing the text into a screenplay or a script (currently cringing as I’m not completely sure if there’s a difference between the two) and then passing that on to the director and the actors who bring it to life with the help of the others on the movie crew. It’s becoming apparent to me as I type this that I will most definitely have to refresh my knowledge of the filmmaking process before I could even hope to touch on the procedure used to make adaptations. Even with my shortcomings in this area, I am very adept at reading books and watching movies, and both talents should come in handy during this inquiry. I am hoping that my inability to stop analyzing and spewing my thoughts will also contribute to my research and analysis of the texts and movies I’m hoping to scrutinize.
What I’m hoping to learn and develop over the next few weeks:
- the text to film adaptation process
- the necessary components of an adaptation
- how to transition one thing to another smoothly without losing the essence of the original
- “good” and “bad” real-life examples of adaptations
- how to appeal to a certain audience
- concision, and the selection of necessary components versus unnecessary ones
This is not a path I can walk alone, and I want to try and successfully conduct an interview (where I failed to during Eminent) to contribute to the authenticity and first-hand experience I want to have in my research. I could also ask people I know that are interested in the movie-making process of their opinion on the matter, and to help wrap my head around the inner workings of a film. I could examine real-life examples and apply my findings to my project. As for how I’m going present all of this to the class, I might present my research in a lesson, or more creatively by making my own film adaptation. No matter what I choose, I want to show my understanding of the topic in an interesting and engaging way.
I know that if I want this inquiry to be successful I will have to put in the hours and manage my time wisely. Below is my outline of what I’m hoping to achieve in the next few weeks:
|– Start and finish ZIP proposal and post to blog
– Look for suitable interviewee
– Decide on a good artefact or performance to demonstrate learning
– Continue researching and compiling information
|– Continue researching
– Start specializing and focusing research
– Look for/conduct interview
– Start planning/creating artefact or performance
|Week 3 December 17th– 23rd||– Finish researching
– Complete interviews
– Artefact/performance nearly ready to be presented
|Winter Break||– Finalize performance/artefact