Friday, May 13, 2016

#ArmchairBEA: Beyond the Books

Beyond the Books

I can't believe it's the third day of ArmchairBEA already. Where has the time gone? I've had so much fun so far meeting new people and talking all about books. Today is another great topic of discussion. We're talking about transmedia. Transmedia is the when the same story is told in different medias. Hollywood has been practicing transmedia for years. Most of the films that have been released to the public are based on either graphic novels or books. Gone are the days when writers only need to focus on one art form. If you really want to be successful you have to know how to write in more than one media type. 

There are five major types of media: novels, theatre, film, television and graphic novels. Each of these forms tell the story from a different point of view. Novels allow us to experience the story from the character's point of view. We're inside their heads as they go through the entire ordeal.  Theater portrays the story from a world apart. The audience is watching the story unfold before them through a missing wall. The characters rarely know they are being watched. 

Film and television allow the viewers to experience what is happening at the same time as the characters are. The only way we get a glimpse inside their heads is if there is a voiceover. Voiceovers are rarely used because they can be used too much. Sometimes the crossover from novel to screen can be problematic. You can read more about crossovers here

Some shows and movies based on books have offered the novelist the change to consult on the projects. The amount of say and freedom an author has depends upon the production company.  Diana Gabaldon is a consultant for the adaptation of her Outlander series on STARZ, which gives her some control on the changes the show must make from the books. 

Author George R.R. Martin is a contributing writer for the adaptation of his Game of Thrones series. He had admitted more than once he has made major changes in the storylines from book to screen. Some of the die hard fans of his books don't like the HBO series. In fact, I was reading the other day that Outlander is beating Games of Thrones in the ratings. HBO has responded saying they are going to produce less episodes per seasons. It looks like Game of Thrones is on it's way out. 

What books do you think had good adaptations in other media forms?

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