Susan here ... the other day I saw The Hunger Games, after reading the books, and yeah, I loved both forms of the story. I absolutely adore movies, especially in movie theaters -- I love seeing the stories and characters made so convincingly vibrant, I love the clear and magnificent visuals, the surround sound, the tubs of popcorn, the chocolate, the trailers for other movies ... all seen in the darkness that focuses the whole experience and provides a total escape for a couple of hours. Being a highly visual person as well as a writer and reader, I'm a total sucker for a movie translation of a book, especially if I've already read it (I always try to read the book before I see the movie, so the film visuals won't overlay my own imagination in the reading).
I'm very visual in my own writing, in descriptions as well as storytelling. When I'm thinking about what to write next, I can sometimes see scenes in my head as if they’re playing out on a movie screen—characters, setting, action, all of it. While I'd love for one of my books to become a movie someday (what author wouldn't!), it's fun to have book trailers created - sort of a teeny-screen version of a book!
A few months ago, I blogged about Queen Margaret’s Video and interviewed Jim lefter, my video producer, about the process of creating a book trailer. At the time, we were also working on a video for Lady Macbeth: A Novel. That video one ran into some delays, but it's finally ready!
I’m delighted to debut the Lady Macbeth video here on Word Wenches. This gorgeous book trailer was also created by Jim Lefter. I am so grateful to Jim for his creative vision (for example, he beautifully expressed the difference between Shakespeare’s Macbeth and my Lady M, and he found some stunning images). I’m truly thankful for his patience in the process and his amiability each time I changed my mind or asked for just one more tweak... I'm also thankful to Dougie MacLean for the use of his wonderful music in the background, which helps make the two videos true companion pieces. Click here and enjoy the video!
Here on Word Wenches, we've talked about favorite historical movies, but seeing Hunger Games got me thinking again about books translated into movies, whether historical, contemporary, fantasy, and so on. Sometimes the translation works beautifully … sometimes it doesn’t.
A book stands on its own, and the movie version that follows should be able to stand on its own as well as a different medium. Complete faithfulness in detail is not always necessary. The movie is a different expression of the story and characters. It's not required that it be an exact replica of the book, though fans of a book will look for that and make comparisons in their minds. WIth or without intentional faithfulness, the movie should succeed as film, just as we can expect a book to be the best it can be within its own creative form.
Here are some favorite novels that successfully translated (I think!) into some outstanding movies and cable series:
1. Pride and Prejudice (more than one version!)
2. Harry Potter films
3. Lord of the Rings
4. Game of Thrones
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – one of the best, most faithful screen captures of a novel
6. Gone With the Wind
What favorite books of yours have been made into movies? Did it work for you, or did it change your imagination's interpretation of the book? Has any movie replaced the book as a favorite for you?