Many popular box office movies evolved from equally popular books or novels. Classics such as Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Bramstoker’s ‘Dracula’ have been transformed into movies many times because they enchant and entice the viewers. Other classics transformed into movies include ‘Oliver’ by Charles Dickens and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen.
However, it isn’t just the classics that are transformed into films, modern novels are too. Relative newcomer Alex Garland had his novel ‘The Beach’ worked with the movie magic in 1999 starring Leonardo DeCaprio in the main role of Richard. Other modern novels made into films include ‘The Shining’ among many of Stephen King’s books and the contemporary ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ by Helen Fielding.
Before the age of films, novels had to be read in their entirety to discover the plot. Through the development of technology people can now, instead of reading the novel, watch it on the screen in more than half the time.
In the first half of the twentieth century the cinema was the only way of watching these films. The second half saw the introduction of videocassettes, which could be bought and taken home to watch. Now there is another format to view these movies, DVD. DVD gives a whole new edge to watching movies as they’re individual and contain unique features to enhance the enjoyment of the watcher. This has brought the ability to view films at home- broadening the possible audience even further.
The medium of films is more accessible to more people, as it is something everyone can enjoy. If a person is deaf subtitles can be used so they can read the dialogue and other sounds occurring on the screen. Illiterate people can watch the movie without facing the embarrassment of not being able to read the novel.
More people tend to buy videos and DVD’s because it is a cheap and efficient way of getting the story across without spending time reading a novel. Many books are so thick, which puts people off. By transforming a novel into a movie it can encourage people to read the book.
By having their novels turned into books authors can gain financially and renowned recognition for their literary talents. A writer can boost sales of their own books by selling the rights for the movies and earn royalties at the same time.
The director can choose what parts can be kept in and what to get dispose of. Overall the director controls what you see on screen and what you don’t. The liberties of your imagination are confined to what you can see on the screen.
As movies are moving image sequences, the directors, casting directors, actors, screenplay writers and many more movie personnel, decide how the characters look and how their personalities are defined on screen.
However, in the written novel your imagination is liberated and can go into overload. The images you see are ones that you’ve created and you decide what everybody looks like. Within books there is language which can carry meaning on many different levels, which is difficult in the ‘literal’ medium of film. Metaphorical language is just such an example. Although it is difficult to portray on screen there is an example in the film ‘Educating Rita’. Rita is a young Liverpodlian woman who wants to join an Open University course. As she tries to get into the office the door is stuck which symbolises how she has been shut out of education most of her life and how Frank, the lecturer is imprisoned in his life and unable to escape.
In a film there can be a whole variety of stunning and dramatic effects through the use of sound and special effects in Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Titanic’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’. Computer animated sequences are used to create the sinking Titanic in it’s full glory and the explosions in ‘Pearl Harbor’ were created using the latest in digital technology. Depending on the viewer’s perspective the medium of film can be better at telling a good story but sometimes people prefer the written word.
Films in more recent times have tended to contain more and more special effects to attract a bigger audience and to keep in with what’s popular with the viewers. The most popular movies at the moment tend to be romances and action known also as “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” movies. ‘Pearl Harbor’ is an example of this as it contains romance (Kiss, Kiss) and action (Bang, Bang). ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is an example of an action movie that contains special effects but also spectacular views, which keep the viewer, enthralled.
Sound is also a key feature in creating dramatic effects in movies, without sound many people can’t watch a movie as to them it appears boring. Films like ‘Jurassic Park’ use sound to create apprehension within the audience when the T-Rex has escaped. The ‘boom-boom’ sound that accompanies the T-Rex is austere but effectual as the audience can associate the sound with that species of dinosaur.
The silent movies of the past are now passï¿½ as the development of cinematography has continued to work its magic fingers. Movies tend to be a hit if they contain state of the art special effects, mind dazzling scenery and ear blasting sound.
In the future it’s believed that cinema and VHS will become virtual reality compatible so the audience can truly interact with the story by talking to the character and being part of the action. Already you can experience the graphic reality of 3D cinema with the aid of special glasses, which brings an otherwise boring, and unimaginative piece of film to life.
Over the decades that film has been available to the media consumer it has undergone many a change for the better. More people go to the cinema not just because of the subject matter but also because of who directed it or the spectacular special effects that have been created.