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Books Should Be Made Into Tv Shows, Not Films

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    Once upon a time, the high point of creating a story was to see it turned into a movie. But I argue that that time has now passed. With a 300 plus page novel, trying to condense all that material down into a 2 hour film usually amounts to a disaster, a watered down version of a book you love. I can think of countless examples. Most recently for me: Ender's Game and Gone Girl. Although an argument can be made that The Hunger Games is doing a pretty solid job. Trick there is film installments. Now a 10 hour Ender's Game or Gone Girl, broken in chunks would be awesome, but would never happen as they were just the one book, and Hunger Games series is technically 3.

    Which leads me to my point. You need more screen time and screen play action for all the important stuff in the book to translate onto the screen. That's why I think they should aim to turn books into tv shows, over film. With TV show production being just as good as film nowadays, there is nothing they can't do on one medium over the other, which is only a recent development with cable and premium channels like HBO and the internet networks now taking hold like Netflix.

    Just imagine your favorite book being brought to the digital screen. And then think, would I rather see this play out over several episodes, with time to actually build character archs and momentum? Or is the story really able to be fully told in 90-120 minutes? If the answer is the latter, it probably shouldn't be converted to begin with, unless its a badass short story, then by all means.
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    James Franco just signed on to do a TV mini series adaptation of one of my favorite books of the last decade, Stephen King's 11/22/63. Not sure if it will be any good. But I totally agree with what you said. I am glad this is going to be a mini series over a 2 hour film. So much more time to actually tell the full story. Maybe that's the ticket. A mini-series. Because a full boar tv show with several seasons might be too much screen time. But a mini series might be the Goldilocks perfect amount.
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    Sometimes it is done really well. Jurassic Park and Lord of The Rings come to mind. And sometimes it is done horribly. Sphere and Ender's Game.

    Though even when it is done well, a lot gets left out when making the jump between mediums. Then you have the complete opposite problem with The Hobbit. Jackson took one shorter book and tried to turn it into a 9 hour movie and just had to start cramming in extra filler like Legolas, a white orc, and some weird love story.

    But turning books into multi-series TV shows sounds amazing. Way better than movies.
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    Torn here. 3 of my favorite films were first excellent books: Fight Club, Contact and Peaceful Warrior. And while none of the film counterparts necessarily equaled the book, they all brought the spirit and message of the text through in a very successful way. Something to be said about being able to do that in such a windowed time slot. I also get why most have opted to film adapt instead of tv mini series. You get to reach a much wider audience with a film. A worldwide audience. An audience that doesn't always have the time or resource to devote several hours tracking down and watching multiple episodes.

    Sometimes a message needs to use the medium that's most effective, even if at the end of the day it possibly sacrifices some details. Heavy pro and con to wage for any screenwriter and producer, but I see the value in all three, tv show, mini series and film. They are 3 very different tools. Just gotta know how they work, and when to use which for what particular material, like with any art form.