Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blog Chain Time: Books and Movies, Oh My...

I'm so excited to let everyone know that my Blog Chain has been reorganized and re-started! These are such a great group of writers, and I am thrilled to be part of this. 

This time the topic comes from Michelle who asked the following:

There are so many book-to-movie adaptations out there. Which are your favorites? Which are your least favorites? Why? Do you make sure you've read a book before you go see the movie adaptation, or do you prefer to read it after, or not at all?

Film adaptations - what a great subject. I love books. And I love movies. But, do I love books that have been turned into movies? The short answer...sometimes.

There have been a couple books-to-movies that are brilliant. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example. These are the exception, however. That is not to say that I dislike books that have been turned into movies. I just view them as completely separate things, each to be enjoyed on its own merits. I don't look for comparisons...if I did, I think I would be forever disappointed as typically I enjoy books better than movies.

I was at a book panel event for teens not too long ago in which one of my fellow authors was talking about her experiences going through the book-to-movie process. She said she is really just the "source material" for the screenplay. Most of the actors don't know that the movie they are making was based on a book, nor have they read the book. I think that is true in many cases. Yes, with things like Twilight and Harry Potter, I know the actors read the books. But with lesser known material, this may not always be the case. And that's fine. These are separate mediums in which to tell a story. Both have there pros and cons.

Back to the original question...I love books. I love movies. I will always few both as unique. And yes, there are movies that have inspired me to read the books and visa-versa. But I really do try to keep the two medium separate in my mind.

For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.



  1. I agree, Christine. Even though some movies created from books are good, if they don't follow the book (and if I'd fallen in love with that book), I have a hard time watching. My brain is all about how they 'messed up' the story and not simply watching. lol

  2. It's amazing how the same story can be so different when translated to another medium, isn't it?

  3. I recall running to the theaters when the movie for Eragon was released. And remember thinking, "What have they done to this story?" throughout most of the movie. Not sure why since I'm not sure what I expected, but I was seriously disappointed. Sometimes the adaptation works...and sometimes not.

  4. I have a really hard time with books to movies. They are rarely what I would like. However, I have learned to go in knowing this, so I think that makes it better. For instance, I love Harry Potter and everything about the books. I was not expecting so much from the movies, although I think they did a really good job having to work with so much material in such a small time span on screen. I also think that The Hunger Games and all but the first Twilight film have been done well. But I didn't love the adaptations of Tom Clancy's books, or Robert Ludlum's Borne Series. I will see movies that have been adapted from books, often reading the book first (although I think sometimes that will ruin it b/c you do expect so much more). I hate when they change the story. I have heard of this happening, like the ending has changed for Breaking Dawn 2 from what I have heard and I know I am not going to be happy about it.

  5. It is definitely hit or miss for me. :) It doesn't surprise me that actors working on a film adaptation of a book haven't read it, but it does make me think either the director or the actors aren't excellent. In my view, even though the stories may be different, a serious director or actor would want to know the source material thoroughly. If I were an actress about to play Snow White in SWATH, I would certainly read as much as I could about the different fairy tale adaptations, even though SWATH was obviously a departure in many ways. Otherwise, how can you have the breadth to play the part? Just my personal opinion on that, and I didn't even know I had an opinion until you mentioned it and I got all disconcerted. :) But certainly the actors should at least know that the screenplay was adapted from a book, or they'll just look all deer-in-headlights when a well-read person asks them about it.

  6. I like your way of looking at the book and movie as two separate things. Some of the best adaptations, happen when the movie doesn't try to stay 100% true to the book it is based upon.


Thanks for your input!