03 October 2010

Books, TV, Movies and remakes

I want to rant a little about people complaints about books being messed up when made into movies and tv shows or when a movie is remade. I think people need to let go of their obsession with things remaining the same and look at it all as what it is... storytelling. Part of the fun of both storytelling and listening to stories is that there is always little differences in when the same story is told. Maybe its only a slight difference in the emphasis of words, the changing of an adjective or even just the sound of a different persons voice saying the same things. Think about sitting around a campfire listening to a master storyteller tell your favorite story. It so easy to hear that same story told a hundred times around the campfire, but record that story and you may only listen to it a dozen times for the rest of your life.

Books, TV and movies are different media and have different rules of timing, setting and just generally how they come together. No matter how true you want to be to one source, translating it into another changes it a little. Ever actually read a book from movie without pictures or seeing the movie? You will find that the images you create in your mind still won't quite match the movie and you can find that you're disappointed with what they did with the movie. lol Its simply the nature of the mediums.

My opinion is that if they do a good job on the storytelling, then its good. When I read a book I let it define the nature of its world and as long as it doesn't break the rules it sets up, it has succeeded in doing one of its fundamental jobs. So to do I believe that when a story is retold, I should let each new retelling have some flexibility in its story. Some core part should be kept in each retelling of course. For instance keep the characters natures intact and put them in slightly different situations and see what they would do. That's just good storytelling. Now there may be things I don't like about remakes, maybe they chose to keep the parts I wasn't into and got rid of the ones I like. Well the storyteller gets to pick and choose how to tell the story. We may not like every telling, but its the mystery of the telling that makes it fun.

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