DC 205 Lecture 2: Screenwriters and Adaptations

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2 Mar 2017
DC 205 Week 2 Screenwriters & Adaptations
Origins of ideas
o Novels
o Short stories
o True-life stories
o Other movies
o Comic books & graphic novels
o Video games
A “pitch” – idea typically presented at a studio meeting
A “treatment” – short story version of screenplay
An outline or “spec” (speculative)
May write screenplay with or without financial backing
Average screenplay is:
o 110 pages (one page per minute of screen time)
Usually not part of production process
May “punch up” a screenplay as a script doctor
Many are also producers
Story Departments
First stop before script becomes a feature film
Story analysts, or “readers”, read & evaluate submitted material
The Adapted Screenplay
Why adapt a novel to film?
What do you expect when you hear a film is being made from a book you like?
Not as good; not as detailed
Visuals in our mind don’t match what we see on screen
We find certain things important in book that director/screenwriter does not
Certain novels aren’t meant to be films
What are the problems in translating novels to film?
The problem of length and depth
Films can’t show everything
Summarizing a character’s past
What are some good adaptations of novels to film?
Plays vs. Films
Length about the same
Film uses close-ups
Film director has more options
o More ways to communicate
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