From Book to Movie

It’s been some time since I wrote a blog. It usually takes something getting under my skin to irritate me into writing about it. Today was such a day.

I am so tired of hearing people rant and rave about a movie not following the book it’s “based” on. Yes, I know some of them do not follow much of the book and take liberties to change a lot in the story, but I’ll bet you most people who complain about it have no idea of writing a screenplay that will work with the story, or are just complaining because everything isn’t exactly the same.

Case in point. I was looking for something else online and happened upon reviews given for a movie based on a book. Although this movie is not something I would recommend for young people to watch because of some of the language and a particular scene (which really doesn’t show anything but didn’t need to be there – Hollywood, ugh!), I enjoyed the story, and thought the movie very well done. The character was believable in his situation and the flow of the story did not lag, as so many do in SciFi.

In the reviews, there was one person how ranted and raved about the movie being all wrong and did not follow any of the short stories (there were several) from which the movie claimed to be based on. Obviously, this person didn’t watch the movie with an open mind but turned it into a review session right from the start. The movie, in actuality WAS based on several ideas from this author. The title was taken from his book with a collection of stories. But we all know that titles can be used over and over. Which (side line here) is one of the reasons we should check the title we want for our own books before assigning them to make sure there are not a ton of books with that same title.

Since there was no “reply” choice to the review, I made my own review. Along with giving the movie a 4 star, and the reasons why, I basically told the person with the awful review (based on their assumption that the movie was to be like the book) they needed to do more research.

Making a movie isn’t that much different than what we do as writers, people. We take situations and stories from our own lives and others we know, and we fit them into the story we create, changing certain facts and people. In the credits of the movie, the screenplay writers do not therefore say (for example) “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. They give credit to the work by saying, BASED ON the story/book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

More people should watch the Special Features of movies where the directors or producers, or both, explain certain things about the making of the movie. They might learn something. They may even improve their own writing by finding out how these movie makers create stories. None writers may learn to just sit back and enjoy what these people work so hard and so long to create. Hmmm…that sounds like something an author would say.

End of rant.