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The Art And Business of Adaptation

5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

For our latest venture at Broken Leg Theatre, the company I co-direct with Anna Jefferson, we spoke to a huge variety of women all over the UK. From a group of midwives in London, to a group of elderly women in Leeds (the oldest of whom was 102!), their real-life stories and experiences formed the inspiration for our new play, Three Generations of Women, which tours next month. These discussions, and our interactive online platform, provided us with some confessional and deeply personal stories. The response was overwhelming, flattering, and very humbling. At the end of the research process, Anna… Read More »5 Ways Of Bringing Real Life Into Storytelling

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How True Does A True Story Need To Be?

True Stories and ‘Truth’ How ‘true’ does a ‘true story’ need to be? On the surface, this might seem obvious – but it’s NOT! Bang2writer James HickeyΒ asks this question: Do you know if there are any copyright laws or what-have-you regarding true stories one would read on the internet, or maybe have told to them? “Based on a true story” can be problematic… but only largely cos 9/10 it’s not really true. Take the movie Wolf Creek for instance. What was that based on? The Peter Falconio case *maybe*… But it felt like a tenuous link really, more in a… Read More »How True Does A True Story Need To Be?

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Guest Post – Fidelity Criticism: Good Book, Bad Movie… Bad Book? GREAT Movie

A friend of mine at some point in the last year and a half asked me if I’d seen Twilight yet. I said no, because I hadn’t (and still haven’t), and asked her what she thought of it. She said it was bad, but that it was way better than the book, which she found utterly insufferable. As such, there was a case made for one medium proving a superior means to tell a story. Twilight’s failings as a work of literature were turned, at least partially, into successes. One definition of fidelity criticism reads as “The criticism of translation… Read More »Guest Post – Fidelity Criticism: Good Book, Bad Movie… Bad Book? GREAT Movie

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Adaptation, Pt 5: 22 Steps To Adapting For Screen

Now for the last of my posts from The Art And Business of Adaptation: here’s Adrian Mead’s thoughts on how to approach writing an adaptation. Obviously everyone’s different and when you approach your own, you may find your working method/thoughts on this is entirely the opposite, but I still think it’s an interesting insight on how to go about it. I’d be interested to hear from any screenwriters who have adapted stuff what they think of this too – did you do something similar? Not at all? Let us know and enjoy!—————————————————————- BOOK INTO FILM – A CHECKLIST STAGE ONE:… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 5: 22 Steps To Adapting For Screen

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Adaptation, Pt 4: Bye-Child And The Butterfly Tattoo

We’ve heard about what an adaptation entails, adapting true stories and what publishers think of the process, so now is the right time I think to take a look at two specific adaptations. Watch out for spoilers. First up is Bernard MacLaverty’s Bye-Child (2003). An award winning short film (part funded by long term Bang2writer Scottish Screen), Bye-Child is taken from the poem by Seamus Heaney. This was of particular interest, since adapting from poetry – bar the usual suspects like Homer -had not really occurred to me. But why not? Poems are just as rich in visuals and offer… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 4: Bye-Child And The Butterfly Tattoo

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Adaptation, Pt 3: What A Publisher Says

Apologies for the delay on this article, an MTC (that’s a Minor Tidying Calamity) occurred and my notebook with my course notes in somehow ended up in the outhouse with the washing machine and freezer. I blame The Husband…———————————————————————— A recent conversation thread on the Shooting People Screenwriters’ List revealed that it is considered pretty bad form to adapt material without having the rights to it. This is not a problem when certain stories are already in the public domain, but what if it is protected by copyright? We hear a lot about producers acquiring the rights to certain books… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 3: What A Publisher Says

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Adaptation, Pt 2: "Telling Lies To Tell The Truth", Peter Broughan

When we think of adaptation, where does the so-called true story fit in? It would seem to occupy both ends of the scale: on this very blog I lambast Wolf Creek and its supposedly true origins and this website provides ONLY films that are based on true stories. Peter Broughan of Flying Scotsman Films was charged with talking us through the specifics and miscellany of producing a film based on a true story. I hadn’t expected to find this element particularly interesting, since I have never been one to watch biopics or be interested in autobiography. I was surprised then… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 2: "Telling Lies To Tell The Truth", Peter Broughan

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The Art & Business of Adaptation: Adrian’s Sessions, Pt 1

Here are my notes on Adrian’s sessions (oo er) from the Mead Kerr course “The Art & Business of Adaptation” that I attended this past weekend in Edinburgh. There will be other notes on the many quality guest speakers coming soon. Enjoy! Someone said to me recently they would sooner put pins in their eyes than adapt material for the screen. “It’s all original stuff as far as I’m concerned,” she said, “I mean, that’s where the real imagination and skill is, right? In making it up from scratch.” (You’ve known me a while now, I’m sure you can imagine… Read More »The Art & Business of Adaptation: Adrian’s Sessions, Pt 1

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