Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. This Week’s Topic: What is it that makes some books seem ideal for a film translation?
There’s a lot of overlap between writing and filmmaking for good reason. After all, without story, there’s no movies. And if you consider all of the move industry-esque things that writers must do nowadays, the lines are even more blurred:
- Pitching/Querying: Succinctly answering the question, “What is it about?”
- Loglines: Boiling your story down to the “hook.”
- Plotting/Outlining/Storyboarding: Mapping out your story, beat by beat.
- Promotion/Marketing: Platform, Platform, Platform.
Does a book have to be outstanding to make a great movie? Nope. I point to THE GODFATHER, FIGHT CLUB, and JAWS as evidence of movies that transcend their source material. Alternately, many great books have been rendered unrecognizable by overzealous directors, producers, and screenwriters (see LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, BICENTENNIAL MAN, and THE GREAT GATSBY). [Just my opinions, mind you. Give me yours in the comments. ]
It seems that the best book-to-film adaptations happen when the creative team honors and/or enhances the original work rather than crapping all over it with completely new storylines, whitewashed characters, and overworked CGI.
Considering how rabidly pissed book and movie fans are about recent film adaptations like THE TWILIGHT SAGA and THE HUNGER GAMES, turning books into movies definitely isn’t easy. But when done right, it makes you appreciate the uniquely awesome power of storytelling even more.
Some bad books make great movies, some good books’ movies flop. What are your favorite/most detested film adaptations?