Greetings friends! There has, of late, been a friendly little voice in my head which likes to screech like a pterodactyl, “YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN A BLOG POST IN 89 YEARS YOU PATHETIC PORCUPINE.” To which I answer “a) Hush, b) it has NOT been 89 years, c) don’t call me pathetic because it hurts my FEELINGS, and d) porcupines are awesome so how is that even an insult?”
More or less.
I dreamed a dream I would write more blog posts during the summer, but the reality is a) I am currently working at a new job so STRESS and also where has all my time gone, b) I’m doing Camp Nanowrimo so I HAVE TO REACH MY DAILY WORD COUNT *hyperventilates*, and c) I’m having a hard enough time finding time to read books and honestly reading books is so much more important than writing blog posts.
[What is with all these a), b), c) things??]
All that to say: I’m actually writing a blog post now!
Now. On to business.
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Being the bookish minion that I am, I tend to be obsessed with all things bookish: Bookish tee shirts, bookish food, bookish conversation, bookish books.
Thus, whenever a bookish movie is announced (by which I mean a book-to-movie adaption just in case anyone was confused), the odds are, I am going to watch it.
One of my favorite books being translated to the medium of film? One of my least favorite books? A book I feel indifferent towards? What fun! I must watch it!
There is something fascinating about reading a book and then seeing the places and people and scenes you’ve read about on paper come to life on screen.
Because they are such fun, today I’ve created a handy-dandy guide for How to Adapt a Book into a Movie.
1. Mix Up the Plot a Little (Or a Lot)
The fact is, you can’t include EVERYTHING. Besides, you don’t want to just re-make the book, do you? The book is still there for the people who want THAT story. The movie has to be its own thing! So scrap a few plot points! Add a few of your own! Challenge yourself by seeing how unrecognizable you can make the plot!
2. Cut Dialogue/ Add Action
Let’s be honest. The only reason the author made the characters talk so much is because explosions aren’t as cool when you can’t see them. But on screen, wonder of wonders, you CAN see explosions! And aren’t they just the fabric that all great movies are made of?
Is there a scene in the book where someone crashes the car? Extensive research says that 99% of crashed cars explode spectacularly (and very cinematically).
Is there a scene in the book where someone cuts up an orange? Oranges are sort of like fire. (Haven’t you ever gotten orange juice squirted in your eye???) Oranges could explode!
Added action scenes don’t have to be limited to explosions. Also add car chases, foot chases, scooter chases, bicycle chases, camel chases, dragon chases, and any other chases you can think of. Everyone loves a good chase scene.
3. Cut or combine side characters
No one will notice. No one will care. Who even REMEMBERS the side characters anyway??
4. Emphasis on Romantic relationships
In a film adaption it is CRUCIAL to devote a large amount of screen time to the protagonists relationships. About 2% can be family and friends relationships. The rest should be focused on their romantic relationship(s).
“But wait!” you say. “The protagonist in this book isn’t IN a romantic relationship!”
Never fear! In this situation the solution is very simple: ADD a romantic relationship. The protagonist probably has a friend or two, yes? Just take your pick and add in a few kissing scenes and “I would die for you” lines.
5. Cast Kids 4 or 5 years older
Why make them 12 when you can make them 16??
The reality is, everyone prefers movies about teenagers. There are books about 12 year-olds, but books are weird.
Besides, 16 is the PERFECT age for finding the love of your life which, as we’ve discussed, is imperative to a movie adaption.
6. Make everyone gorgeous
The book says they’re awkward and unattractive…
BUT ARE THEY?
No. Everyone is actually movie-star gorgeous and has perfect hair. Even if they’re running for their lives through forests and bogs and deserts. Even if they have to cut their own hair with a rusty pair of scissors to disguise themselves, it has to turn out PERFECTLY.
Books don’t always talk about these little details because it would get boring, but every girl who ever ran for her life from bloodthirsty monsters or villains was sure to pack plenty of make-up and make a point of carefully applying it every morning.
7. Don’t read the Book
You don’t really need to read the book in order to adapt it. If you know someone who read it, just ask them to tell you the gist of it and you can easily fill in the blanks for yourself. This not only saves you time, but also helps you to really make the movie adaption your own. You know you’ll have the ESSENCE of the book. But the rest? It doesn’t really matter!
And there you have it! Next time you have a few years of free time and a couple million dollars to spare and decide to make a movie, just follow these simple steps for a flawless adaption that will please any book loving movie-goer!
Have you found this advice to be a foolproof formula for success? Do you have any other advice? Do you feel obligated to watch the film adaption of any book you read? What are some of your favorite/least favorite book-to-film adaptions? What books do you wish someone would adapt into a film? Do tell!