I write short stories and screenplays mostly in the horror genre. Several of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho (Korean Werefox). I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter
Which is better: Film Adaptions vs. Books and Comics
With the ever increasingly popularity of adaptions (especially superhero films) it’s always a topical questions what is better the book or film. Most people I know prefer books to the film adaptions pointing out among other reasons-
• They can explore the motivations of characters more.
• Books can be a lot longer making them more complex.
• They don’t need the protagonist and antagonist to have a personal relationship which most films have (for instance Punisher’s family in the comics are killed during a shootout they weren’t targeted).
• They can use various places and locations to get the story across with little fear of losing people’s interest and upsetting financiers.
However there are some positives in films namely-
• They can make people interested in a book who normally wouldn’t be.
• They can provided a more compact version of a story you enjoy.
• Some books can be poorly written but the idea might be great (Logan’s Run for instance).
After thinking about several film adaptions I have enjoyed I realised that whilst I mostly preferred the book (including World War Z, Howling, The Other Boleyn girl and several comics) it wasn’t always true (for instance The Crow comic, Girl With The Dragon tattoo- the original one and Interview with an Vampire although it’s very close with the last). So that made me think why did I only prefer the book about 70% of the time and the reason is it depends which I experienced first (I’m only including comic book films where they are based on a graphic novel or a miniseries as it’s unfair to pit 30 years of comics against one film). All of the above instances where I said I prefer the film are all examples of when I watched the film first and it cut out some unnecessary parts of the book like the mentions of Swedish industry and economics in Girl With Dragon tattoo. The other point is that films limit our imagination sometimes it’s only slight but it’s there and therefore when we see a certain actor or action in the film we really like we believe that the character/event should have been more like that in the book for instance Lestat dancing with Claudia’s dead mother is a brilliant black comedy moment. My theory isn’t absolute as I can think of two or three instances where I have preferred the second thing I experienced like the Queen of the Dammed book. Although in this case the film significantly departed from the book for instance Marius didn’t turn David at the end of Queen of D (that’s the smallest complaint I can make I could do a whole article on how they learned the mash up of vampire chronicles 2 and 3).
But overall this theory holds true for me what about you?
6/22/2016 10:11:41 pm
Great article, David. Generally, I prefer novels to their film versions. An exception: I equally enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl book and film. This is a very well-written and informative essay on a subject of considerable interest to me. It was a pleasure to read!
6/23/2016 04:06:47 pm
Hi Eliza, thanks for your comment. I just felt the side characters in the Other Boleyn Girl film weren't fully explored particularly the brother.
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