20 December, 2007

Screenwriters walk a fine line translating literature into film

Bend Weekly:

" They don't give out an Academy Award for best adaptation for nothing. You've got to please the studio. You've got to please moviegoers. You've got to please devotees of the book. So how do these screenwriters do it? "A lot of it for me is very instinctual," said Mark Protosevich, who's adapted Richard Matheson's novel, "I Am Legend," into a screenplay for the Will Smith movie that opens Dec. 14. "It's an emotional reaction. I hadn't read it ('I Am Legend') in a number of years. ... What happens is that I start seeing a movie in my head. Images start coming up, scenes start coming up. I scribble notes.

"I'm not thinking too much about whether this is going to please the fans or admirers of the book. What I'm doing is going through my own process; I've always likened it to musicians covering songs. You're either going to do a very faithful cover of that original composition, or you're going to try to approach it in your own way."

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