MOVIE VS BOOK
- Movies let us watch what’s happening.
- Books let us feel what’s happening.
- Movies rush through the story in two hours.
- Reading is a leisurely experience.
- We read a book a little at a time over days or weeks.
FIRST MOVIE OF A BOOK
- The first movie of a book was Sherlock Holmes Baffled, a 30-second black and white silent film that debuted April 26, 1900 in New York City.
- The film was adapted from a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Viewers in amusement arcades watched the film on individual peep show machines called Mutascopes.
WHY THE DIFFERENCE?
- Why is the adaptation of the book so different from the film? The answer is TIME.
- The screenwriter has to cut out subplots, characters, settings, and descriptive passages in order to reduce a plot to its bare bones.
- Sometimes screenwriters add characters to create conflict, romance, or to recite dialogue that advances the plot.
- What we see on the screen is a summary of the book.
HOW MUCH IS LEFT OUT?
- How much of a book is omitted from the movie version?
- Wired magazine analyzed 18 recent films to find out. The result: 1,000 book words equal 2 screen minutes.
- A thousand words is roughly 4-6 pages depending on type size, page layout and use of dialogue and description.
- Using the Wired formula, at least 25% of a book is omitted from the movie version.
- The films analyzed by Wired include three series (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia), plus the print and movie versions of Blade Runner, Coraline, Fight Club, and The Shining.
SCREENWRITER VS AUTHOR
- The screenwriter of the film and the author of the book have the same goals in mind. Both use storytelling patterns.
- The filmmaker tells the story with images, using lighting, camera angles, costumes, makeup, and physical action.
- The book author tells the story with words that create images in the reader’s imagination.
AUTHORS WHO WROTE SCREENPLAYS
- Famous novelists also wrote the screenplay for the movie version of their book including: Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita), and John Irving (The Cider House Rules).
- Some famous novelists wrote screenplays of books they didn’t write. Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) wrote the screenplay for Moby Dick. William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury) wrote The Big Sleep. Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) wrote the 1940 film version of Pride and Prejudice and the 1943 version of Jane Eyre.
- Children’s book author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) wrote the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.