Hollywood’s Influence on Authors

No doubt there are authors that don’t care and never envision their stories on the big screen, and some probably even dread the prospect. It’s just a guess, but I’ll bet most authors dream about who would be good actors and actresses to portray their main characters. Some authors even write with certain actors and actresses in mind, and are probably influenced by some performance in a particular favorite movie.

I admit I love movies, and I do hope to see my work produced by Hollywood, although I admit that Hollywood doesn’t always do a good book justice. Part of that is the format. For instance, I couldn’t envision Hollywood producing Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth. The mini-series did it creditable justice.

Occasionally I like the movie better than the book. Jurassic Park is an example, although the movie could have been closer to the book and still been great. Also, Hollywood’s versions of Jane Austin’s novels, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice are all favorites, and are certainly easier to get through than the books.

I think it is good for authors to be mindful of how stories progress in the movies if they ever hope to see their work in that format. However, not all movies are edited particularly well, so it is important for authors to be mindful of that. For instance, Snow Falling on Cedars was butchered by the editors and perhaps the screenwriter. David Guterson may have profited from the film, but the disastrous reproduction of his acclaimed novel certainly put a damper on his career. However, if you hadn’t read the book, or you take a second look years down the road, the movie is actually quite entertaining.

The April 22nd release of Water for Elephants is at the top of my hopeful list, although I have my reservations about Robert Pattinson in the role of Jacob Jankowski. Pattinson may surprise me, but he’s not the person I envisioned when I read the book. Of course, I really didn’t see Reese Witherspoon playing Marlena, but Reese is such a sweetheart that’s she’s hard not to love in any role she portrays. I would honestly like to know what Sara Gruen thought of the casting.

So, I for one must hold up my hand and profess that Hollywood influences my writing, but I’m a highly visual guy and everything plays in my mind like a motion picture. I can only hope that the influence was positive.

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