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Is it unrealistic to even attempt to make a movie?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Is it unrealistic to even attempt to make a movie? Reply with quote

I've had a fantasy of making this series into a series, tv or movie, for years and years. Either by becoming a director or a billionaire who can order improbable things done and have it happen...

But, does anyone else think that these would be ridiculously hard to faithfully adapt? Even if the plot content is true, the impact couldn't possibly be? So much of the series is internal, and emotional, psychological...

There would have to be like, an over-running narration to represent the characters thoughts over the whole series, and even then, how could they represent some of the more beautiful things? Like a person who has health sense and can see health, beauty, and emotion?

Not to mention the emotion the characters almost always have on their faces, even to regular vision.

I really don't want to offend anyone, or derail this into a debate about actors, so I will just say, most actors you ever hear about, don't really 'act'. I think the best actors are the type-cast ones, who do something so well they are stuck in it forever, and even if they attempt to, they rarely are allowed to breech that prison.

Plus all the needed special effects...I really think the reason Game of Thrones got adapted for the screen is that for fantasy, the magical/non human aspects of it are so low. And it was just easier to adapt, sort of the exact opposite of this series?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This, verbatim, is what I probably would have posted... even the comparison to Thrones. Game of Thrones is a fantasy soap opera, relying on external conflicts. What makes The Chronicles compelling are the internal conflicts... something that's impossible to translate well in a visual medium. There's a lot of other reasons I could go into but that's the biggun.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krilly wrote:
This, verbatim, is what I probably would have posted... even the comparison to Thrones. Game of Thrones is a fantasy soap opera, relying on external conflicts. What makes The Chronicles compelling are the internal conflicts... something that's impossible to translate well in a visual medium. There's a lot of other reasons I could go into but that's the biggun.


No, no, no! [or, to be less hyperbolic/opinionated, cuz sometimes folk take offense...I humbly disagree.]
I actually GI'd [it wasn't part of my question, so that particular part didn't get an official SRD answer] and have probably said here somewhere [Aside: yes, mega, there's more than one thread talking about this issue] that all the reasons everyone cites as "why it couldn't be a film," ESPECIALLY the internal stuff, and the "words no images" claim/methods SRD labels himself with, are EXACTLY the reasons that it WOULD make great film-work.
The greatest obstacle is length and detail, [because of the audience/economics] not medium.

The acting problem Mega notes is a casting/director problem and, to some extent, a technical one.
But...the best actors are NOT stereotyped/labeled/limited...though very very often the most successful ones are. Rarely do the two meet, but sometimes they do. [my usual example in the modern age: Daniel Day Lewis. He has convincingly played...not convincingly, DEFINITIVELY played utterly different characters. In the last 20-30 years, if you don't think he is great, if you don't "believe" his portrayals you don't know what acting IS, you probably think Madonna is musician]
I don't think the emotive capacity of the actor is a problem, nor the internals...not for a director and technical staff that knows what they're doing and gives a damn...after all, people think Leonardo Di can do those things, and it is all the techies doing.
But, if one knows where and how to LOOK, there are 10 actors with range even if not D-D range, who never get a chance, 20 with useful abilities/look in smaller roles, and 1000 with Leo-D acceptability in limited and tightly controlled/technified/functionable type. [by which I mean, among Giants, for instance ONLY Foamfollower and Pitchwife require any real subtlety/flexibility.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'unno... I can't help but think that a Chronicles movie would feel like an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

Mordant's Need, and even the Gap Cycle would make much better candidates.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krilly wrote:
the Gap Cycle would make much better candidates.

That I agree with...Gap is a much, much better option.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mordant's Need would be the easiest and the most fun.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make a gap series, uh, series, they would kind of have to skip book 1? Although the rest of it does lend itself much better to the medium for sure. Scifi stuff is common enough and easy enough to make, and the gap series from what I recall actually has more dialogue than internal monologues and or feelings.

I know there are some good actors out there, but you have to admit they would just cast Michael Sera as Bannor, George Clooney as Covenant, and lady Gaga as Lena.

I mean, ok that is a total exaggeration, but the dollar sign eyes tend to beeline for box office names that will guarantee so much money opening day, regardless of plot or quality of the movie, just by that name being there.

Then again, I don't think the books themselves are well known enough to get that kind of budget or attention, so maybe they actually could cast unheard of people with talent, rather than childish divas with way more money than--

Sin City used a pretty fair amount of narration, it really seemed like a comic book movie, but can you imagine basically 3 full hours of narrative dialogue, including over/during/right after the normal dialogue?

Too many things in the series rely on the reader being able to use their own imagination or interpretation too. I mean it's easy to write a character who is the best at <insert field here> but as soon as you make that field something that is outside the authors control (in movies I mean, or televsion) you run the risk of...people not agreeing.

I mean if you make the character in your movie the best chef in the world, that is easy cause we can't taste it, but as soon as you make him the best musician, or the prettiest person...

However, all these problems aside, if they made this a tv series or movie series, I would most likely be so glad to see it, even if they had to cut a ton of material, like the internal stuff.

Then again, I don't think SRD has much that is cuttable, unlike say Tolkein or Martin(? Game of thrones guy!), or wheel of time guy--dear lord why can I not remember anyone's name?!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a video rendition of LFB check out

www.fantasybedtimehour.com

I don't think you will regret it...
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Agree that Mordant's Need would be the best candidate for a Movie, the plot is easier to manipulate that "GAP" or any "TC Chronicles" ~ just my opinion
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had never thought of this before, but yes Mordant's Need would make great movies. And if they were hits, that would surely pave the way for movies of the First Chronicles. I do not see insuperable obstacles in the sex and violence in LFB or IW; my kids inform me that movies have changed so much that this stuff is no longer shocking. One of my children read the First Chronicles with me. She was not shocked by the rape scene (which may say something pretty bad about the state of our popular culture). She was a little more surprised by the stuff with Elena. The biggest problem might be that Covenant would have to do a bit more in an effective movie. The biggest problem selling a big movie studio to invest would probably be convincing them that the ring is not a Tolkien rip-off. This is incredibly annoying but they have to be convinced that audiences would grasp that the white gold is close to the opposite of Sauron's Ring (it is alterity, unpossessibility, freedom).
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mordant's Need is a good candidate, but even better are SRD'd short stories in my opinion; like Reeve the Just, or Scriven - they would be excellent source materials for movies.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My old-school thinking is that a short story is scant material for a feature film...but if Peter Jackson can manage to turn The Hobbit into *three* extended features, perhaps some among SRD's short stories can be turned into features.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:40 am    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

New member here, saw the site once a long time ago, thought I would join now. I read the first Covenant novel in 1977-78 and, well, you know the rest.

Going to respond to the short story idea. Strangely enough, short stories have long been used to create feature length movies. Some of the more successful Stephen King movies were from his short stories. Hemingway hardly ever wrote an extensive novel.

My 2 cents. There are aspects which would be challenging and a suggestion would be to create an interactive script project and have members collaborate on a script. Just a thought.

Anyway, enjoyed the visit. I will try and return. My name is not from the books, it is Adawe language.
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
My old-school thinking is that a short story is scant material for a feature film...but if Peter Jackson can manage to turn The Hobbit into *three* extended features, perhaps some among SRD's short stories can be turned into features.


I think a short story can be more than enough... you don't necessarily need a story overarching several years and utmost complexity, many times simple stories happening in the span of a few days or hours make the most excellent films.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amanibhavam wrote:
Savor Dam wrote:
My old-school thinking is that a short story is scant material for a feature film...but if Peter Jackson can manage to turn The Hobbit into *three* extended features, perhaps some among SRD's short stories can be turned into features.


I think a short story can be more than enough... you don't necessarily need a story overarching several years and utmost complexity, many times simple stories happening in the span of a few days or hours make the most excellent films.


I agree with both these sentiments. I think the Donaldson short stories "Penance", "Daughter of Regals", The Killing Stroke" "The Woman Who Loved Pigs", "Animal Lover", "By Any Other Name", and "Ser Visal's Tale" all have enough going for them as story that they could be stretched a bit into movies.

I think they're all more adaptable than Thomas Covenant to the movie medium.

It's got to seem credible that Covenant has a reason to doubt the Land's existence. It's easier to see him as someone fighting for sanity in thinking the Land is a vision from his head when we envision the Land in our own heads while reading or listening. But we're shown the Land in a TC movie, it looking very real, and the movie Covenant looks like a nut denying the Land's reality.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has SRD ever had anything adapted for tv/screen?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Daughter could be a good movie. Also Mordant's Need. If I were to do a Covenant series, though, I still think 2nd Chrons would be a more natural start. A little prologue, and a few flashbacks, would be enough background for almost most viewers (except maybe the THOOLAH crowd. Wink ).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Has SRD ever had anything adapted for tv/screen?

Well, we have The Fantasy Bedtime Hour, which aired on a local San Francisco public access cable station I believe. You could call it an adaptation of Lord Foul's Bane, with commentary. But it's more fun than that.

Here's the main thread: Fantasy Bedtime Hour

[Edit]Doh! Cameraman Jenn has already plugged FBH, above.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that SRD's views of fantasy as a genre is an externalized form of an internal drama, I think it would be fairly easy to present everything that's important to the story in a movie, especially with good actors and a good screenplay. That's what SRD is doing himself, presenting TC's psychodrama in an external form.

It's not really until the LC that "unfilmable" internalized elements start to overwhelm the story, and in this sense a movie of the LC might be an improvement upon the books, cutting away all that internal psychodrama stuff.

What will be missing is SRD's language. Granted, that's missing in every adaptation, but since his language conveys such a high level of "emotional imagery" in us, a film adaptation might affect his work more than other writers. That's the part I think people are incorrectly identifying as internal story elements. It's not that we're inside TC's head more than other fantasy characters. The "internal" part of Donaldson's stories is more evident in how he can convey an impression without an image at all. SRD has said that he's not a visual writer. He doesn't describe scenes in literal detail, but instead uses emotional language to convey a scene, and then relies upon our own imagination to "fill it out."

That's the part you can't convey in a movie, that magic of the reader creating the scene in his head, because a director does it for you. Again, this happens in every film adaptation, but Donaldson is simply a better writer than most, and hence able to convey a higher level of emotional/spiritual intensity with his language than most. You'd have to substitute some DAMN good acting to fill that emotional void, but the basic idea could still be conveyed when dealing with characters.

The Landscape, however, is what would suffer the most. You simply can't convey a system of balconies and alcoves that look like a Giantish message in living rock with any amount of CGI. What SRD has done here is substitute a concrete image with pure concept, telling the reader what they would feel if they saw Revelstone, not what they would see. Seeing it would probably be disappointing, because it wouldn't have that supernal quality.

But even this hurdle could be jumped with a good enough design team. After all, there exist real architecture (e.g. cathedrals) that move people to have "spiritual" feelings. The real problem is that SRD's Land just isn't as visually striking as many other fantasy worlds. Rock huts and tree villages, and then one "castle." I suppose Mt Thunder could be impressive, and Ridjeck Thome. But I think a film version would pale in comparison to both Middle Earth and Westeros, the fantastic as well as the mundane. There's just not a lot to it. And what it does have to offer visually, we've seen before. Soldiers marching. Forests. Mountains. Donaldson isn't a world builder. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not very cinematic.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:


And what it does have to offer visually, we've seen before.


I've been on a Star Wars trip recently, watching whatever chapter I can find. Yesterday it was The Phantom Menace.
I noted that during the Gungan battle against the droid army a cow-like animal carrying a cannon strapped to it's back took a devastating hit. The cannon had been totally destroyed and was belching flames. The animal stood still and only grunted.
Of course Star Wars are family movies so what more could we have expected!

If this were to happen in, say, the battle for Doom's Retreat then perhaps a more realistic approach would be to show the animal's back in flames, being scorched, and in the throes of an excruciating death.
I'm really thinking of the Lord and his Bloodguard who were disposed of in
such a gruesome way by the raver Giant. To show this graphically would not suit a younger audience.

My point is, that a Covenant film might only work if presented as an Adult Fantasy. In which case there may be vast scope for original fantasy film making.
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