Occupational thoughts

Covering life on the home front.

Why TV-adaptations are good

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I’ll explain that I was going to try to make a real-time Machinima in Half-Life 2 with Matthieu using Synergy. That’s opposed to using Faceposer to animate models outside of real time. I deleted the Synergy dedicated server which in turn led to synergy having to re-install itself. Matthieu insisted we play a bit of Halo and then my Mother went a bit crazy seeing as we’d come home at 3:30 and it’s now 5:05 and we haven’t done any homework.
Therefore here I am doing my English homework. Which is, as it happens to write a piece on television adaptations of novels. Hence this next bit of writing:

One of the advantages of moving a written text to film is that it’s more accessible. This isn’t much different to moving a TV series over to radio, writing a book about a game, turning a theatre piece into a script for a big budget Hollywood film. The thing is that it’s a transition of a story from one medium to another. Each medium has it’s advantages and disadvantages, if I didn’t have to do my Maths homework after this I would draw a scale with ‘games’ at one end and ‘books’ at the other. Games are very involving and interactive, whereas books are requiring the ability to read. Radio is interesting because listening to it is a passive activity but it provokes as much imagination as can in books ie. it’s not visual in the sense that it pictures what takes place.  If you didn’t understand much of that then it’s fine because I didn’t understand it either, it was an introduction.
I’m writing this with specific relation to the Lord of the Flies and the 1960s film which was made about it. There’s always a little bit of meaning or story which is lost in transition, that’s why people generally think that the original version of a work is the best. This is true, however the original work might not be the most accessible. I mentioned it earlier but to give an excellent example a guy next to me in class asked how many people had seen the Lord of the Rings films, all the people in the immediate vicinity had seen them. However when asked who had actually read the books, only one person had read the first book. This underlines quite well how movement into a more popular medium can spread a story much better. After watching the films there are some who will go and read the books just for the added depth. There’s a sort of elitism exuded by the people who read stories in their original format to lose none of the meaning. I know that when I do reviews I am critical of this loss of depth and meaning to a story. However, there comes a point at which these ideas become insupportable, I know examples of people who learnt Japanese in order to read Manga in it’s original language without losing anything in translation. I commend these people for their effort and their apparent devotion to Manga. Hwever, I think I’m able to read the english-language translation of Mangas without it annoying me too much. Now think about the TV adaptaion of Lord of the Flies. It gives you the basic story, of course the power struggles aren’t as evident and some minor events are missed out but you get the general idea. It’s an advantage to turn something into an easier and more popular medium and the loss of meaning is acceptable given the bigger audience. There’s the idea that film ruins one’s imagination by substituting it with artificial images. This is only partly true – yes if you see the film then read the book you will have the film’s images of the characters projected upon your imagination. But, your imagined interpretation of written words is still different from a visual interpretation of a text because it’s your imagination in which the action takes place. It warps slightly. Links get made between images and ideas. The opposite happens when a film is converted to a book, it gets extra meaning for a smaller audience (core fans of the story). The process is a good thing. It almost always has a positive effect upon the spread of the story and it’s ideas.

Did you think Piggy and Ralph looked like this?

Did you think Piggy and Ralph looked like this?

That was a mouthful, now I’ve got to go finish off a mock test in Maths before going to babysit an incredibly moody little boy.


Written by Pierre

February 12, 2009 at 18:05

Posted in Uncategorized

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