May 13, 2024

From Page to Screen: UT Students Analyze The Process of Book Adaptations

Reporting Texas

Host Janelle Tanguma and reporter Ariah Rivera-Clemente recording Between the Lines Podcast with guest Cindy McCreery.

The “Between the Lines” podcast dives into books making it to the big screen, delving into the most popular adaptations and unraveling the art of translating literary treasure into a cinematic experience.
In this episode “From Page to Screen” host Janelle Tanguma and reporter Ariah Rivera-Clemente, senior journalism majors at the University of Texas at Austin, begin conversing on the phenomenon that most movies and television shows are based on books.
“An incredible 70% of the world’s top 20 grossing films are based on books,” Rivera-Clemente said.

They explore the sales associated with turning books into movies. After films of famous novels are produced, it generates spikes in book sales especially with titles like “Harry Potter,” and “The Hunger Games.”
When “The Hunger Games” film was released in 2012 there was a “55 percent jump” in book sales, Rivera-Clemente said
“If it’s an adaptation done right it’s going to spike book sales” Tanguma added.
“The only problem with adapting books into movies is that, really it’s a hit or miss,” Tanguma mentions. The amount of detail and information that can go into a book cannot always fit into a movie or television show.
Changes made to books when they are adapted that rub book lovers the wrong way are typically characters not matching their physical descriptions and having “different personalities,” Rivera-Clemente said.
Special guest Cindy McCreery, screenwriter, producer, and current professor and interim chair in the Radio-Television-Film department at the University of Texas at Austin, gives insight from a screenwriters perspective on the adaptation process.
Screenwriting is “very visual” and “you cant get into characters heads the way you can when you’re writing fiction.” When flipping a book into a television series you have to think about “how would this work as a show? What would translate? Are there 100 episodes here?” McCreery adds.
“I was really excited about the Dune book being turned into a movie but I wasnt a fan,” said Kimberly Serratos, senior advertising major at The University of Texas at Austin. “Your imagination can run so wild” when reading books “and a movie is restricted to a budget and actors” that it was hard to meet her expectations, Serratos added.
To conclude the episode they dive into their rating segment, where in this episode they rate the most recent adaptation that they watched on a scale of Monday to Friday including producer Melanie Faz, senior journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin.
They then plunge into books they are excited to see turn into a cinematic piece. Rivera-Clemente relays her enthusiasm about “A Court of Thorn and Roses” being turned into a television series.
“As a reader you kind of have to be scared that they’re not going to do it right,” Tanguma follows.
“When is the next great blockbuster movie adaptation going to come out … I dont know.”