Turning a 250-page novel or a two-and-a-half-hour stage play into a 90-minute film means leaving out much of the original and changing most of what’s left. So why does it remain recognisably the same story? What is the slippery essence that transfers, unaltered, from page to screen?
Adaptations, Denise Faithfull comprehensively and systematically addresses the thorny issues of choosing your source and type of adaptation, whether a liberal appropriation, a free-flowing intersection, a variation or a faithful translation. She illuminates questions of structure, character, dialogue and visualisation, and includes a checklist for the adaptor. Brian Hannant’s introductory chapter discusses the history of Australian film, the basic principles of filmmaking and screenwriting, and a guide to correct screenplay layout.
Drawing from dozens of Australian films including
Death in Brunswick and
Adaptations navigates the treacherous waters of the adaptation process, showing us what works … and what doesn’t.
For anyone who’s ever read a novel, seen a play or heard an incredible true story and thought, ‘Now, that would make a great film’,
Adaptations is the ultimate on how to make it happen.
Click here for a review by Nick Sidoryn, Marden Senior College, as published in the SAETA Newsletter, Spring 2007.
DENISE FAITHFULL was born and raised in Western Australia. After travelling through
Europe she moved to California
where she lived for eight years, working in publishing and journalism. She
finished her undergraduate degree at UCLA and, after finally settling in Sydney, completed an MA (Hons) in Australian Literature
followed by a PhD at the University
of Sydney. After working
as a freelance book editor, Denise joined TAFE in 1984 and has since taught
English, Film and Media Studies and Communication. Chapters Two–Six of
Adaptations are based on her doctoral thesis on adapting literature to film. She is
married to a photographer and has two sons.
BRIAN HANNANT has been a filmmaker for more than thirty years. He learnt
his craft at Film Australia
before freelancing as a screenwriter/director of documentary and drama films.
He worked as a script executive at the Australian Film Commission—where he
supported and first edited the script that became
Shine—and as Head of
Directing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Brian has taught screenwriting at several universities and, currently, at Sydney Film
School, and lectured
overseas on film theory and directing. He has made three documentary film
series in South East Asia. His best-known
feature credit is for
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (as co-writer and
second unit director).