My Top Ten Novel-to-Movie Adaptations

Friday, October 28th, 2016 | Posted by Violette Malan

3-musketeers-posterLast time I was having a look at William Goldman, both his screen and novel writing. You can see the whole post here, but for my review of my top ten movie adaptations, I’d like to repeat what Goldman says about writing screenplays:

Here is one of the main rules of adaptation: you cannot be literally faithful to the source material.

Here’s another that critics never get: you should not be literally faithful to the source material. It is in a different form, a form that does not have the camera.

Here is the most important rule of adaptation: you must be totally faithful to the intention of the source material.

— from Which Lie Did I Tell?

In another spot, and I’m paraphrasing here, because now I can’t find the quotation, he tells us how a book has maybe 400 pages, and a screenplay has around 135 pages, and not full pages at that, so what do you think happens between one version and the other?

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No Adaptations?

Sunday, December 11th, 2016 | Posted by Violette Malan

bondLately I’ve been looking at adaptations, both novel-to-movie, and novel or movie to TV series. I been talking about them in terms of what I thought was successfully done, and occasionally pointed at my favourites. In their comments people observed that while they agreed, for the most part, with my suggestions, they had suggestions of their own. All of us had to admit, however, that we were sometimes unfamiliar with either the source work, or the adaptation, or even both.

Have a look for yourself, here, and here.

One of the things I didn’t look at was movies or TV series adapted from story cycles, or from book series. The most successful of the latter has to be the Bond franchise, from the novels by Ian Fleming. How many movies have been made? 26? 27? Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character Tarzan has appeared in both movies and TV series. It seems there’s a new Tarzan film every 20 years or so, but none have been as successful as the Johnny Weismuller/Margaret O’Sullivan films of the 1930’s and 40’s. Do we need to mention Perry Mason?

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My Top Ten TV Series Adaptations

Friday, November 25th, 2016 | Posted by Violette Malan

true-bloodNot long ago I posted about my top ten novel-to-movie adaptations, (see here) and it spurred a flurry of opinions and alternate suggestions. Today I’m thinking about TV series and the difference here is that TV are just as frequently adapted movies as they are from novels. The requirements of this kind of adaptation are different from those of novel-to-movie. For one, the source material has to provide an ongoing story line, what’s called “series potential.” Obviously, that’s most easily done from something that’s already a series to begin with. But there are other criteria.

huff-debtAs Goldman says about adapting novels for film, the TV series should retain the intention of the original material, but perhaps the issue of length isn’t as problematic. On the contrary, the more of the original source’s complexity that can be kept, the better, as TV adaptations can explore avenues and characters in ways a movie can’t. On the other hand, series requirements sometimes lead to unexpected changes to the source material.

Here, in no particular order, are my choices.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in October

Monday, November 21st, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

captive-of-gor-smallHere at Black Gate, we take great pride in our meticulous research, passionate reporting, and thoughtful analysis, especially on fantasy writers who are being criminally overlooked.

None of that stuff gets read, of course. What does get read? Articles like Nick Ozment’s “An Experiment in Gor: What Are John Norman’s Books About, Really?”, the runaway most popular post at Black Gate last month — by a wide margin. We love our readers, but boy, are you ever predictable. (Also: Ozment! Five more Gor articles, on my desk by Friday. Chop chop!)

Those of you who weren’t reading Nick’s Gor piece were enjoying Sean McLachlan’s ghost writing expose, “The New Pulp Era: Ghostwriting, Ebooks, and the Economics of Now,” and Fletcher Vredenburgh’s essay on “Horror and Swords & Sorcery.” Rounding out the Top Five were Violette Malan’s “My Top Ten Novel-to-Movie Adaptations,” and Bob Byrne’s gaming post “Modular: Eye of the Beholder – The Art of Dungeons & Dragons.”

Our report on winning our first World Fantasy Award came in at #6, followed by Bob’s Modular piece on the new Swords & Wizardry Kickstarter. Coming in at #8 was Harold Page’s review of Jason Thompson’s graphic novel The Dream-Quest of the Unknown Kadath & Other Stories.

Closing out the Top Ten were John DeNardo and his Savory Selection of Science Fiction and Fantasy for October, and an entry in Bob Byrne’s other popular column series, “The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Milton F. Perry’s ‘Harry S. Truman, Sherlockian’.”

The complete list of Top Articles for October follows. Below that, I’ve also broken out the most popular overall articles, online fiction, and blog categories for the month.

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William Goldman: He’s Only Mostly Dead, And Mostly Dead Means A Little Alive

Friday, November 23rd, 2018 | Posted by Violette Malan

GoldmanAnyone who’s been paying attention to anything I’ve written here at Black Gate over the last few years knows how much I love William Goldman and his work. His death last week was a solid blow, for me, my husband, and our best friends. Not because we expected him to produce any more work, after all, the man was 87, but because the world is a smaller, colder place without him.

His body of work does mean, however, that he’s not completely dead. In many ways, for those of us who didn’t know him personally, as long as the work lasts he’ll be alive for us.

If you want to know biographical details of birthdate and the name of his wife, and his two children and so on, Wikipedia is for that.  What I’m going to do here is tell you what the man meant to me, and what impact he’s had on my work, and my life.

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