If you’ve ever watched movies based on books, and I’m sure you have at least once, then you know that usually books that are movies don’t turn out as good as the books they’re based on. I won’t get into the whys of that because that’s not what I want to talk about today.
What I’d like to talk about is what the absolute ideal movie based on the book would contain. Of course, the book will probably always be better. But if only producers would hear out fans of the existing story then perhaps books made into movies would be so much better.
1. Don’t Change the Story
The biggest mistake most movies based on books make is changing the story too much. I know, they are “adaptions”, which means books made into movies are just another version of the story. But still, if you’re bringing to life something that is already widely popular for the way it was already told, then why fix it if it aint broke? If I had my say, books that are movies would be just that, the actual book and every little detail of the already amazing story on screen.
2. Up the Budget
I’m not sure what movie budgets are these days. I’m sure they’re already outrageous, even the supposedly “low-budget” features. But even so, producers have money to spare. They make tons of money off ticket, DVD, and merchandise sales. So why not put more of that money back into making movies from books even better? Most films have some pretty awesome effects these days, but those that have low budgets can really ruin the special effects and editing for the whole movie.
3. Don’t Sweat the Time-Frame
Don’t worry so much about squashing the story into under ninety-minutes. You’d be surprised how long a person is willing to sit through a film if it’s really good. Just have the intermission make a comeback, and make the movie as long as it takes to tell the story!
4. Be Picky With the Cast
Even if all the other things on this list happen, miscasting can absolutely slaughter movies based on books. First of all, get characters that actually look like they’re described in the book. I know some books don’t get into detail so I can’t blame you there, but if the author took the time to describe how someone looks, get someone who actually looks like them. But don’t stop there, get someone who looks like them but can act as well. I’m not naming names, but there are some casting choices I still do not get to this day. There are what, one million starving actors in Hollywood? I’m sure one of them fits both of those requirements.
5. Let Authors Have a Say
Lastly, but certainly not least, let the author have a say in movies based on books they’ve written. I think if this were true and authors actually had the last say in all decisions, then many more books made into movies would turn out better. Most of the above wishes would come true by making this one thing happen. Authors would not slaughter their own story, they would bring it to life in a new format.
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