Category Archives: Adaptations

Rom Fan

Only the self-absorbed seem to move forward in Hollywood these days… so I started a blog.

I thought I’d also coin the term for a newish/oldish genre –  Rom Fan – just to fully embrace my new egomaniacal pursuit.

“Romantic Fantasy…?” you say. It slips right off the tongue! A guilty pleasure for a non-young adult, though one at heart. Rom Fan’s are more than just Twilight, which in my opinion is poorly written and not the best example of the genre, just the most successful.House of Night is wonderful! It is terribly written and stuffed full of pop culture that will be obsolete in the next few moments. Writer’s note: It’s best to just come up with your own slang that way it won’t ever be passe. Clockwork Orange or Clueless are good examples.However, the series starting with Marked grabs you by the balls and won’t let go. It’s a roller coaster story that had me hooked on page one, it’s jammed packed with action, great characters and unique mythology. My fingers are crossed that my friend Michael will get this one up. Check out the HON website, it’s a great example of effective and integrated transmedia storytelling.


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Ye Olde Transmedia Device – Adaptation

You may have guessed this…I am a complete YA geek. I love it. I read it for pleasure…it’s my cup of tea. I love it because the good stuff has so much going on, so many layers of subtext. The shit stuff is pure guilty pleasure.

Having worked in film and TV for more than a decade, it took reading “HIS DARK MATERIALS” to find my calling to specialize in kids and YA entertainment. I was returned to childhood and the escape of new worlds in Pullman’s novels. I couldn’t believe that something so controversial was selling like hotcakes and to kids all around the world.

Over the years I have compiled an amazing list that expands and contracts as projects are adapted into films and new authors are published. This brings me to the point of the article. I, along with many kids, have been sorely disappointed by many adaptations. “THE DARK IS RISING” was ruined and strangely renamed “THE SEEKER”. What were they thinking? Why didn’t they honor the book?

I have the most distinct remembrance of a childhood experience – I saw a movie adaptation of a favorite book and all I could think about was why did they change it? Where was that sequences? Or that character that I loved so?

HARRY POTTER is the best example of honoring the book. If they hadn’t, the filmmakers would have been stoned to death by four-foot somethings worldwide. The movies satisfy because of the art of what is left out and congealed for emotional significance. It is the art of the YA adaptation! Children are unforgiving when it comes to change, and this fact continues to trip up adult development executives with verbal diarrhea and a need to have something to say, anything.

The adaptations that have in-artfully changed elements have performed terribly! “CIRQUE DU FREAK”, “THE SEEKER” to name two… They did not honor their audience and paid the price.

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Rookie Mistake!

Putting narration in a YA adaptation that is an action film! Example: “TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN”.

Narration brings our attention to the fact that someone is narrating from the future. Action is about tension, what will happen next, who will survive! Yes, the book was first person diary but for god’s sake you are making an action film! Know your genre!

Refer to my rule number 3 – just leave it out!

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Let Me Counts the Ways…A Rant

I love the real Avatar! The Nickelodeon TV series “AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER”…so let me count the ways in which the adapted movie by M. Night Shyamalan sucked.

1. Lacked darkness…both visually and thematically.

2. Absurdly rushed storytelling.

3. Horrible, excessive narration – that is totally unnecessary because we have all seen the series and loved it… Harry Potter has no narration and it’s as dense as a republican at a polling booth.

4. Music cues are completely off.

5. Decide who we are following – character-wise!

6. The most significant character moment, when Aang, Katara and Sokka become friends, is almost completely cut out, and the filmmaker misses out on creating actual relationships between its main characters!

7. Destroyed! One of the best characters on TV! Gone is jolly, esoteric wise man, Uncle. In the series he was fat, silly, fun, pretending to be out of it but was a true guide to his nephew in his hour of need.

8. Though I think the series was meant to be racially ambiguous most of the time, the casting was off complete. Have a plan man!

9. Just plain shit….

10. Broke my golden rule, and changed shit…. bloody idiots.

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Three Simple Rules of YA Adaptations

Rule 1

DON’T FRACKING CHANGE SHIT!*

Rule 2

Expand on an important moment to create emotional significance when it’s needed. Steven Kloves is the High King of this!

Rule 3

If in doubt, leave it out…and don’t fracking change shit.

 

 

* Just so we’re clear on Rule 1…you changed it, you fracked it.

Note: Please wait, hold your breath even, whomever you are, for my forthcoming blog, “The One Exception” for said exception…

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