How to make a film adaptation of a book part2

Comment faire l’adaptation cinématographique d’un livre partie2

Introduction to the film adaptation

part 2

Adaptation of a book, a novel, a comic, etc..


After several weeks of radio silence due to vacation, projects, etc… here we are “already” the first weekend of September. I think it is time that the articles are regaining strength and vigor on “CommentFaireUnFilm ” !! I propose to you, as promised, the second part of the article devoted to the introduction of the adaptation.

We have seen, in the first part, that it was necessary to release the structure, the important characters, set the quest and the goal, but most importantly, we have seen that it was essential to spend : “ he says that ” to “fact” !

Film Adaptation : Go to the essential

The goal of the adaptation is to capture the story so that it is comprehensible by all. But above all, that those who have read the book, the comic or the new can find the essence of this why they liked the book. Once you have defined the main structure of the work to adjust, you need to be successful in reducing the main plot but the subplots in 90 minutes, or 90 pages, so that they can develop on more than 300 pages into the novel !

The trick , therefore, is to list, in their turn, the subplots and what they bring to the main plot and then eliminate or merge some of these subplots so that they can ” go ” in the schema of a scenario. This will also sometimes say that you’re going to have to merge certain characters or eliminate…

I feel that some of you do not feel concerned because you want to adapt a comic or a novel… It is true that for the new or short text it seems more easy, more quick to adapt…to a shorter text requires fewer cuts, fewer mergers, etc…BUT (there is always a BUT ;o)) this also means that it will be necessary to keep the floor lengtr and add, or add elements to the plot, the story and perhaps add characters.

Adaptater a novel with the Timeline :

Basically, you will have understood thatto adapt a novel or any other work request in the same applications as for writing a screenplay “original” is a structure and key points. These key points are those of the hero’s journey. For this you must cut and loosen the 3 acts of the story : The beginning, the middle and the end, that is to say, the presentation of the hero and his goal, the tests, allies and enemies, what changes in the hero and then the last part which is the climax and the denouement of the story.

Once you have these three elements, you have to use the Timeline, i.e. define the key points through which your hero. I’ll let you read the articles on the hero’s journey and the Timeline. By doing this you can be sure of the consistency of the story and the plot. But also the involvement of each character in the story.

To finish on this point, you will also perhaps account to link one point to another, you are forced to make a shortcut and no longer “stick” to the original work ! Do not worry, there is nothing more normal. Adapting a work doesn’t mean, doesn’t mean him to be faithful !!!

To finish, I’d like to tell you about a comment that was posted on an article that speaks of the inspiration and imagination…You’re going to tell me that this has nothing to do but wait for two minutes ;o) !

Ideas….to adapt

This user’s blog made me share that for him, the history with a big ” H “ was a source of inspiration almost inexhaustible, and I can not be agree with this. Why am I talking about this ?! Simply because adaptation can also go through the history. Adapt the story, as a historical fact, or use the life ofa historical figure may be a solution or a desire.

All the power of adaptation is here ! I mean by this is that a historical fact or a historical character can be customized. Adapt does not necessarily mean to keep the time for example ! You can very well take the story of Romulus or Remus, and adapt it to our time ! Or take the life of Magellan !


Once again, adapt does not mean follow to the letter or comply with the time, the country, the social environment etc…

The same goes for the dialogues, please do not hesitate to put them to the taste of the day and especially to make them less literary ! There is a huge difference between a dialogue that sounds good at the reading and dialogue which rings true in the mouth. So make sure to rework the dialogues so that they are fair ;o)

Those of you who still think thatadapting a work is easier than inventing an original scenario would be wrong.


Last reminder : Don’t start in an adaptation of a work for which you do not have the rights or who is not fallen into the public domain. Otherwise you may work for nothing or have serious setbacks.


That’s it for this second part on the introduction to the film adaptation. Let me have your comments at the bottom of the article.

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Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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