Movie Writes? – Authors focus in on the big screen

(PRWEB) March 1, 2004

Harry Potter, one of the greatest literary success stories ever was also one of the biggest grossing movies ever. Are authors writing their books with the movie rights in mind?

“I think most modern authors are marketing orientated, “ says Stephen Bell author of the new release The Magic Islands. “This means they must think and plan clearly for the book, the movie and the merchandising. When I set out the plots in my books I’m always thinking of how the movie industry will be able to make it on the screen.”

However, more pieces than just the plot are tuned to create blockbuster script conversions. Many authors are also constructing strong screen characters in the books and setting the stories in movie friendly locations.

“One of my main thoughts in writing the characters is how they will translate to celluloid,” Stephen adds. “I go for very image orientated mains in my books. In the Magic Islands I chose a younger lead character as that really is the vogue at the moment and let’s be honest, I’m writing something to sell it. I think in the film Marcus should be a very strong character that will resonate with the fans.”

It can be challenged that this mode of writing could destroy the literature by becoming too heavily slanted towards the big screen.

“I think in everything there’s a good balance,” Stephen says. “There are great pieces of literature which are without doubt written with no intent to convert. However, there are as many now that are constructed to bring the two media together and create a more holistic experience for the fans. I can’t help feel that the world of Harry Potter was greatly enhanced by the movie and like wise The Magic Islands would be as well. I think that both parts of the overall experience are great for the fans.”

Nevertheless, it’s not just modern literature that is suitable for the big screen transition. The recent smash success of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has paid testament that great books do make great films (whether the author intended or not). This masterpiece was converted into a brilliant screenplay and brought to life by the talents of Peter Jackson.

“I thing the shift that has occurred recently,” Stephen says, “is that there’s more premeditation in the plot, characters and dialogue so that they can more easily translated by the script writers. Where every dollar counts in a movie production, anything that speeds up the pre-production process can be a factor in deciding if a book becomes a movie. In The Magic Islands I used a lot of screen style dialogue to help with that process.”

The final ‘must’ in a modern book is that it can become a series, just like the Harry Potter films. It allows the movie studios to create a possible long-term revenue stream. This is crucial to maximise the return on initial investments and capitalise on longer-term merchandising.

“An absolute pre-requisite of my work was to map out the entire trilogy plus a major prequel. The Magic Islands looked towards work like Star Wars to see how to build a successful chain of stories,” Stephen admits. “Many big blockbusters are now filming the sequels at the same time, this was the case with Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. It all helps the studios to plan production. My follow on books of The Book Of Secrets, The Dark Empress and The Army Of Wizards are ready to roll. This can only help the studios long term plan.”

So, does literature suffer or does it just transition into a modern digital, surround sound era? Does it just make the whole experience easier and richer for the fans? – The critics will decide. But for certain, books like The Magic Islands will spawn chains of action filled movies that will be enjoyed by their eager fans.

The Magic Islands published by iUniverse

ISBN: 059530366

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