Friday, January 9, 2015

THE SPAGHETTI METHOD OF ADAPTATION




Legends of a woman walled in at Ightham Mote manor in England have persisted for centuries.  Visitors to the National Trust site have been enthralled with this mystery. Who was she? Why did she suffer that horrible fate? Anya Seton was so intrigued, she wove her bestselling novel GREEN DARKNESS as an answer to those questions.

Marla and I have optioned the screenplay rights to this classic work. Our adaptation’s primary goals are to preserve yet enhance the story, make it visually compelling and keep the budget as low as possible. Though we have used the novel's general  plotline, we have made many important changes to enhance (and combine) the characters, marketability and cinematic aspects of the story. There are dual roles for all four leads. The novel shifts between two time periods, 1968 and 1550’s. Period films are more expensive and even the 1968 is now “period”. Thus we have updated the 1968 to present day.

We were listening to an interview with the screenwriters of BIG EYES the other day.  They were talking about adaptation and how various writers go about the process. Apparently when adapting GONE WITH THE WIND, the screenwriters were given the novel to read and then the book was taken away. Whatever they retained, whatever events remained most prominent, were included in the adaptation. It reminded me of cooking spaghetti and throwing a noodle against the wall—if it sticks, it’s done. Seems to me those writers had great memories, as much of the book transferred to the screen—in well-cooked, dramatic fashion.

That was our plan as well, since we had to update the present section of the story. A lot has changed since 1968, including attitudes.

As we continue to market, rework and update our script, we thought we’d ask:
What parts of the book stuck with YOU so strongly that they would NEED to be included in your  screenplay?
What questions come to mind that remained unanswered in the novel?
How would YOU answer them in YOUR screenplay? Or would you?

We think there are enough unanswered questions to plot a sequel

All comments are welcome
Till next time~~



1 comment:

  1. I have been a reader of Green Darkness at once every two years since I was 28, I am now 69. I am not college educated but educated by every valley I've tumbled into, and every mountain I've climbed. Listening, observing and learning about life and lives before and present. Always searching for truth and reason, and with the blessing, of true mentors throughout mine. Green Darkness, as a movie is something I have dreamed of, wondered how, and hoped would become a reality. I have just begun the series "Outlander". I am on episode 4, in 2 days, hopefully caught up by Sunday. So far all it has inspired me to do is get out my Green Darkness book once again.
    I cannot help but compare this series to Green Darkness. Cecelia and Richard/Stephen the highland. There are so many possibilities and story lines that could be written with and about the many lives of each character in the Green Darkness.
    I do not know if you have any ability to inquire of the producer and costume designer of the Outlander's series. I am sending a link to The New York Times article about this fabulous couple. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/arts/television/behind-outlander-on-starz-true-hearts-in-the-highlands.html?_r=0
    I do know that Ronald D. Moore and Terry Dresbach are very much the heart and soul of this series, Green Darkness has the potential to pique their interest and possibly yours as a series. A letter or connection to he or his wife could start the ball rolling. I only have her blog site, which is up to date but much more busy with the Outlander Series peaking as it has. Asking this couple on board such a project, I beleive may be predestined as I happened upon Outlander and Your blog quite by accident

    Good luck and God Bless,
    Janet
    http://www.terrydresbach.com/about/

    Goodluck to you both.

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