Today I am pleased to bring you a guest post by Tegan Wren, author of the fantastic Inconceivable!.
As I have stated before I am not a very big book to movie fan. I am working on being better but I am very judgmental, as the movie is never (in my opinion) as good as the book. Today Tegan is going to school me a little on why she loves movie adaptations of books both as a reader and author.
You don’t have to look very far to find avid readers bashing film adaptations of books. There are even pillows and t-shirts that slam movies for not being as good as the books upon which they’re based. I’d like to offer a different perspective. I’m one reader (and writer) who loves to see movie adaptations of books. Here are four reasons I think they’re great.
1. It’s like getting to see inside another reader’s head. When I read a book, I imagine the characters, the setting, and the action. I don’t know how it is for other readers, but for me, it’s almost like watching a movie in my head. When the writing’s very good, the experience is seamless. I read and the story unfolds before my mind’s eye. Seeing a book adapted for the silver screen is like getting to see someone else’s vision of the book I’ve read. I may or may not agree with the interpretation, but how fun to see—actually SEE—how other people (those who worked on the movie) envision the story.
2. The movie simulates reading the book cover to cover. Rarely do I get to sit down and read a book from start to finish in one sitting. I have three small children, so I read books in gasps and spurts. Admittedly, this prevents me from enjoying some books as much as I might if I had more uninterrupted reading time. The luxury of seeing a movie based on a book is that I can have a semblance of that cover-to-cover story experience. Add in the popcorn and soda, and it’s a really magical experience.
3. You have the chance to isolate the characters. When you’re reading a book, your brain is managing all the characters at once. You’re shifting your attention between characters as they speak and react. The beauty of a movie is that you get to enjoy isolated (though brief) moments in which a single character is on screen speaking or reacting. This kind of isolated attention on one character is rather hard to achieve while reading unless the book is designed to highlight a single character who spends his or her time alone.
4. It’s a chance to armchair quarterback the adaptation. Because of time constraints, screenwriters have to pick and choose which parts of the story to include. They may also make adjustments to the plot or even the setting to accommodate the practical considerations of filmmaking. It’s interesting for me to see the choices of filmmakers when they’re working with a book I’ve read. Sometimes I agree with their approach. Other times, not so much. After seeing a movie that’s based on a book, I like to talk about how I might’ve done the film adaptation differently.
I wanted to end by naming some of my favorite film adaptations: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Gone Girl, all of the Hunger Games movies, Adaptation (loosely based on Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief), To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Shawshank Redemption. Finally, it seems important to add that one of my biggest dreams is to see my new novel, INCONCEIVABLE!, adapted for the big screen. If you know anyone who’s interested, tell them the film rights are still available. Oh, and I have my fantasy cast ready too…
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