As you may surmise from the title, I went and saw the movie adaptation. Overall, it wasn’t bad–using my own private rating system, worth a later-in-the-day matinee ticket–so…79%? (Personally the cinematography was most lacking, way too many closeups, although admittedly the nature shots weren’t bad.)
Anyway, though, it was a good adaptation of the book. Which is saying a lot, because even though I’m not the type to get super-pissy when they leave out something from the book (like the source of the pin), I judge. I judge so much. And they managed to take a narrowly focused, first-person book with a lot of exposition and work it into a decent narrative where the world-building became part of the show, instead of hanging out awkwardly as a disembodied voice (I’m looking at you, M. Shyamalan). Oh…from a general accuracy stance, the makeup, hair, and bows/arrows did drive me nuts. I guess you can’t have everything. Maybe they’re all genetically spliced to naturally have eyeliner and mascara, not to mention well-conditioned hair, in the future….
Of course, this isn’t the only first person book adapted to a movie. I’m definitely blanking on other examples–your help is appreciated–but all I can think of right now is ‘True Blood’, a.k.a the series of supernatural detective novels by Charlaine Harris. (Jeez, I must really miss that show or something. I stopped watching it last year and I’ve managed to mention it twice in two days? Or maybe I should blame the three different vampire-movie trailers. It doesn’t even have that much to do with the next topic.)
This isn’t a film blog, so there must be some connection back to writing. Which is…how much should the adaptability be considered when you’re writing a book? Modern technology means you can go pretty far into fantasy and sci-fi these days and still have a chance of getting that movie deal…provided, of course, that you’ve written something that looks good on a screen.
Should authors be thinking about that? I can’t imagine agents aren’t thinking, ‘will this be a bestseller and is it adaptable’ when they’re looking at query letters. It’s an industry, one that’s confused by e-books and probably still hemorrhaging money. It’d be foolish to go entirely on the grounds of ‘literature’…but who said authors had to care about that?
Maybe it depends on your motivation for publishing.