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I’ve recently gotten very interested in screenwriting. In part because I have an idea that seems to lend itself better to film, and that got me thinking. It seems like whenever a book is adapted to film, and I have read the book before seeing the movie, the movie ends up disappointing me. How about you? That said, when I do it in reverse order, watch the film first, and then read the book, I don’t judge the film nearly as harshly. Usually. My experience isn’t scientific, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m curious what others think. Share your thoughts in the comments.

I do believe, as in the case of the screenplay I am working on, that some ideas are better suited to the screen (big or small) and others are better suited to the written word. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, it is just that when I come up with some ideas, they tend to fall one way or the other in my mind. There are plenty of exceptions, I’m sure. Perhaps you can think of some. Armageddon comes to mind. I can’t imagine it as a book. The Rocky movies are some more examples. Any Quentin Tarantino film, of course. Those come to mind for me, but I’m sure you can come up with a lot more.

Sometimes, it isn’t that the book wouldn’t make a great movie, it is just that the filmmaker made a bad movie. To be fair, at other times, it could be that it is a very good movie, but it disappoints those who read the books because changes have been made. Changes to beloved characters, for example, are high on my list of annoyances when watching a movie that was adapted from one of my favorite books. Clive Cussler novels are a good example. Some decent movies have been made from his novels, but they have never measured up. I think that Sahara was good as a movie, but they took a lot of creative license. Matthew McConaughey wasn’t my idea of the ideal Dirk Pitt actor, but he actually did a good job. The same with the actors who played the key roles of Al Giordino and Rudi Gunn. None of the actors looked like I imagined the characters in the novel looked, but I’d rather have good actors in the roles than doppelgangers who can’t act.

I have been reading the Syd Field books on screenwriting and I do recommend them for the shelf of every aspiring screenwriter, as they make up the bible of screenwriting, but I have also found another one that I am really enjoying. It is “Save The Cat!” by Blake Snyder. So far, it has been a very fun and eye-opening read. If you too have a dynamite idea for a movie or television show, you might want to add Blake’s book to your library. I’ll provide links below and if you buy though these links, I will get a modest commission, and it will be much appreciated. I will share some more about my screenplay in future posts as I learn this craft that is still new to me.

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