Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Read in Movies

I love film adaptions. Not because I think they are better than the books, which of course they are not, but because they are a writer’s vision brought to “reality”.

I write movies in book form. Each and every scene has been acted out in my head. Dialogue has been rehearsed late at night, when no one can hear me. And casting the characters is a long and daunting process.

As I wait for my chance to see the final Harry Potter movie this weekend, I wonder what JKR thought when she first saw the set of her literary masterpiece. I can only imagine what Stephanie Meyer will be thinking when she sees Bella transform from a waif-like girl to a full on pregnant mom-to-be. And, when The Hunger Games comes out, what will Suzanne Collins think of the arena?

I know it’s going to sound vain, but I want to see my books become movies. I would love for someone to do what I cannot. I am not a screenwriter. The very thought of doing so brings on instantaneous writer’s block. I would never survive in Hollywood. I like writing in my office in Indiana. I like having fireworks on the Fourth of July without fear of starting a forest fire. I would, however, jump at the chance to get to go on set and observe the film making process. Seriously, I’ve thought about writing a book about life on a movie set just to see if I can gain access to the process.

Not only do I write in pictures, I read in pictures, too. It’s not always a good thing. Sometimes, if I can’t get into the writer’s vision, I can’t get into the book. When I read a book set in the south, take The Help, every character has a southern accent, ranging from a hint to a full on drawl. I feel the heat of the day and the tension of the social conflicts send shivers down my spine. The history of Jackson, Mississippi that I learned in school suddenly goes from the past to the moment.

So, after all that rambling about, here’s my question: Can Hollywood exist without books and can the publishing houses exist without movies? Who needs who more?

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