Sunday, October 14, 2012

Literature and film mix at Frankfurt Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

Films based on well-known books have not been uncommon over the years but one man who has done it more successfully than many of his contemporaries is Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-nominated British director and producer. 

Daldry was among the galaxy of international film, publishing and multimedia personalities who shared their insight into storytelling at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012. 

Having directed and produced films like ‘The Hours’, ‘The Reader’, ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close’ which were based on novels, he reckoned that the novelists now more readily embrace the adaptation of their works onto the big screen. 

“Authors in the past had often been dismissive of movie adaptations of their work but things have changed in the last 10 or 20 years. There used to be a point where novelists who had written a book would be quite dismissive about cinema, wouldn't care, you know, sold the rights, get as much as you can, you know, basically considered it an inferior art form," Daldry told audience during the Frankfurt Book Fair. 

"That certainly is not my experience. All the writers, the novelists I've worked with have been involved from the very beginning, right the way through to the final edit or final preview with audiences," he remarked. 

"The screen writers and original authors tend to work together and the original authors have been, and are, incredibly respectful about it being a totally different art form," Daldry felt. 

He disclosed said he had to approach each adaptation differently, adding: “The story will dictate the form, the story will dictate everything.”

When questioned about the crossover between different forms of media to create new platforms for storytelling, Daldry said he was excited by the idea that you could do different things.

Multiple Oscar-winner Richard Taylor, Creative Director of Weta Workshop, the New Zealand-based animation and special effects studio famous for productions, spoke about the challenges of adapting works by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

"No decision is taken lightly. It's unbelievably painful at times trying to find the core essence of Tolkien. It's all hidden, all through the back material, between the lines, in the life of the author. That's how you get to the heart of the images on screen," he shared, emphasizing that it’s impossible for filmmakers to ignore today's multimedia world. 

"Modern marketing of intellectual property development is using every platform possible to try to create a swell of interest," Taylor pointed out.

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