Deborah Moggach gave a class on adapting books into films at Llandrindod Wells Library, Wales.
Recommended reading and viewing
The Diary of Anne Frank
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Short Cuts – the Raymond Carver short stories, and the DVD of the movie (Robert Altman screenwriter)
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen, and the DVD of the movie (Emma Thompson screenwriter)
The Go-Between – LP Hartley, and the DVD of the movie (Harold Pinter screenwriter)
Plus the screenplays of those movies, you can download them for free on the internet.
- Think of a novel as a noun and a screenplay as a verb. See it as action, moving always forwards.
- Think pictures – visualise those scenes. Films are what you see rather than what you hear.
- Grow a thick skin; you’ll get masses of criticism and everything will get changed. Don’t take it personally.
- Never let a character say “Do you remember…?” The audience will switch off in droves. Remembering is for novels.
- Download screenplays and read them, to get used to the format. Especially useful if you’ve already seen the film.