Friday, November 18, 2011

From the Page to the Screen

Post by Laney

Think about your favorite book. Whether its a romance or a mystery, have you ever thought about how it would look on the big screen? What would happen if you favorite book was turned into a movie? When I finish reading a book I enjoy, I often think of how awesome it would be as a movie. Then I start to think about books where this was already done. Now, some are fantastic. But some are so far off from the book, the fans threaten the movie company with torches and pitch forks.

One of favorite books, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, was one of those pitch fork kind of movies. First, the main character, who is twelve in the book is sixteen in the film version. I didn't mind that too much, considering they chose a hot actor to play Percy. But the thing that really got under my skin was that they changed a lot of the story line. It became almost irrelevant to the book. Now, the movie did has some redeeming qualities, like awesome special effects and good acting. But I had high hopes, only to have them squashed by the movie makers.

But of course not all movies based on books are flubs. Coming from the perspective of a screenplay writer, I understand it's hard to transfer the story from the page to the screen. Cutting down a three hundred page book to a ninety page screenplay is difficult. But if you follow the general story line, cast the right people, and include epic special effects, the movie might just turn out to be good. One example, is Secret Life of Bees. I had read the book, then, soon after, watched the movie, crossing my fingers that it would be good. It turned out to be fantastic. It barely strayed from the story line, and I thought the casting was beyond perfect. Some other great movies based on books are Water for Elephants and The Help.

Last Monday, the official trailer for Hunger Games premiered. The Hunger Games is by far one of the best books I have ever read. When I started reading it I thought about the brilliant movie it would make, and to my luck, filming had already started. I found out about the movie trailer at school, and it was the first thing I watched when I got home. And let me tell you, I almost screamed. I think it will be a great, thanks to Suzanne Collins, the author, who helped with the movie making process. It doesn't come out until March but until then, I'm okay watching the trailer a few times a day.

Here is the Hunger Games trailer if your curious why I'm so excited.

What are some movies based on books you enjoyed?
What is one you think totally missed the mark?



Dylan Book Reader said...

Oh my gosh, I just watched that trailer. I am so excited now! A Hunger Games series re-read is definitely mandatory.

Patricia Stoltey said...

If the movie's as good as the trailer, Laney, it will be a big hit. I guess it's time to pull that copy of "The Hunger Games" off my bookshelf and finally read it.

I think my favorite book to movie was "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand.

Dean K Miller said...

Catch-22 was a hit/miss. Some of it good, some of it a bit off, but overall I enjoyed both book and movie.

Not familiar with "The Hunger Games." Too long under the rock, maybe?

Bottom line, seldom are movies as good as the original book. Just my POV.

Anonymous said...

I got chills watching the Hunger Games Trailer.
I can't wait!

Laney said...

Thank you guys for all your comments! I haven't read the book Sea biscuit but I loved the movie! And Dean, if you enjoy science fiction, I would most defiantly recommend the Hunger Games!

Laney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Paul McKinney said...

Very interesting question The movie version of Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes was a miss. I think my own novel, recently finished, would make a terrific movie, but Robin Williams would have to play the lead against Meryl Streep. Ah, Laney, you've got me dreaming. Thanks for the interesting post.

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