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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 29 2013, 11:35 PM   #46
Greg Cox
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Most of the "horror stories" simply involve the basic challenge of trying to write a 300-page description of a movie you haven't seen yet, which is probably in production at the same time you're writing the book, and dealing with various last-minutes changes. ("We shot a new ending, so we're faxing you the revised script pages. Can you rewrite the last chapter by Monday?")

On the fun side: Kevin Grievoux of the UNDERWORLD movies once let me pick his brains over the phone regarding the backstory he had invented for his own character, which I worked into one of my novelizations. And there are worse ways to spend a day than hanging out on the Warner Bros. lot checking out the costumes and props for MAN OF STEEL . . .
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Old December 29 2013, 11:44 PM   #47
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Do you ever get to see rushes, dailies or rough cuts ?
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Old December 29 2013, 11:52 PM   #48
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
Do you ever get to see rushes, dailies or rough cuts ?
Never. Occasionally there's talk of it, and I've heard rumors of such things occurring once in a blue moon, but, in my vast experience, it never happens.

In terms of visuals, you're usually working from some pre-production art and maybe a stack of publicity stills.

Edit: Okay, on Death Defying Acts, I was sent an advance copy of the movie trailer, which I watched over and over, taking notes.
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Old December 29 2013, 11:57 PM   #49
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Wow. That must be, er, challenging...
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Old December 30 2013, 12:01 AM   #50
Greg Cox
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
Wow. That must be, er, challenging...
On the other hand, the screenwriter has already done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the plot and dialogue. My job is just to figure out how to translate the (unseen) movie into prose.

You also have to be able to check your ego at the door and remember that, ultimately, you're trying to do justice to somebody else's story . . . as opposed to trying to put your own stamp on it.
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Old December 30 2013, 01:26 AM   #51
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

I started reading through bits of movie scripts for the first earlier this year, and I was actually amazed at just how much description there was. I had always they were mostly dialogue with just a few vague stage directions every now and then.
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Old December 30 2013, 04:35 AM   #52
Greg Cox
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

JD wrote: View Post
I started reading through bits of movie scripts for the first earlier this year, and I was actually amazed at just how much description there was. I had always they were mostly dialogue with just a few vague stage directions every now and then.
It varies. Sometimes an elaborate action sequence will be described in painstaking detail; other times it will be more like "she kicks their butts with lightning-like moves."

And just because something is described one way in the script doesn't mean that the art director or the special effects guys or the costume designer or the casting director or the fight choreographer won't decide to go another way on the actual film . . . .

This can lead to surprises when I finally see the movie:

"Hey, nobody told me that character was a woman!"
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Old December 30 2013, 05:42 AM   #53
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
This can lead to surprises when I finally see the movie:

"Hey, nobody told me that character was a woman!"
One of the reasons why I was so grateful to the producers of Darkness Falls was because -- when they showed us the re-done ending -- we also learned that the doctor described as African American in the script was cast with a white guy. Oops.
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Old December 30 2013, 06:10 AM   #54
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
It varies. Sometimes an elaborate action sequence will be described in painstaking detail; other times it will be more like "she kicks their butts with lightning-like moves."
One of my favorite quotes from Ian McKellen's annotated screen play for Richard III is when he describing how they were tying to figure out how to stage the final fight from his vague script and he added:

To be sure, Shakespeare is not much more helpful:

"Alarum: excursions. Forces fighting. Alarum. Enter Richard with Richmond; They fight; Richard is slain."
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Old December 30 2013, 01:21 PM   #55
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

My favourite of the "lack of description" variety of screenplay action is from the Live And Let Die, where the whole ten-minute speedboat chase centrepiece is described as "Scene 140- The greatest boat chase you've ever seen in your life."
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Old December 30 2013, 03:01 PM   #56
Lance
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Occasionally, you might get what TV Tropes calls a 'recurrsive adaptation', where a movie based on a book subsequently gets a brand new novelization based on the movie screenplay (often times this novelization is not written by the author of the original book, either). That's when it starts to get confusing, but thankfully it's happened relatively few times that I can recall.

(In fact it did happen once on Star Trek. Larry Niven adapted his TAS script "The Slaver Weapon" from one of his previously published prose stories, and the TAS episode was then subsequently novelized by Alan Dean Foster as part of the Logs series of novels.)

For the most part though it's definitely far more common for publishers to simply put out a new edition with the movie poster for the front cover and call it a 'Movie Tie-in Edition', even though the actual text of he book has very rarely been altered in accordance with that. Not saying it can't happen, but it seldom does.
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Old December 30 2013, 04:21 PM   #57
Greg Cox
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Lance wrote: View Post

For the most part though it's definitely far more common for publishers to simply put out a new edition with the movie poster for the front cover and call it a 'Movie Tie-in Edition', even though the actual text of he book has very rarely been altered in accordance with that. Not saying it can't happen, but it seldom does.
In such cases, there's never any talk of revising the text. You either do a novelization of the movie script OR you reprint the original book with a new cover, but I've never known anyone to revise the original book to fit the movie . . . .
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Old December 30 2013, 04:47 PM   #58
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Although Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two was written as a sequel to the movie version of 2001 rather than the novel version (in which the Monolith was at Saturn rather than Jupiter). And that wasn't even a movie tie-in per se, since the movie 2010 came out years later.

Also, Gary K. Wolf's original novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? was set in the (then) present day and depicted the toons as comic strip characters, but his later sequel Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? was based on the very different movie version, with the original book dismissed in passing as a dream Jessica had. (Though how a character in the 1940s could have a dream set in the 1980s is beyond me.) If the movie is better known than the book, and it usually is, then it's good business to do a sequel to the movie instead of the book.
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Old December 30 2013, 05:19 PM   #59
Greg Cox
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Christopher wrote: View Post
Although Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two was written as a sequel to the movie version of 2001 rather than the novel version (in which the Monolith was at Saturn rather than Jupiter). And that wasn't even a movie tie-in per se, since the movie 2010 came out years later.

Also, Gary K. Wolf's original novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? was set in the (then) present day and depicted the toons as comic strip characters, but his later sequel Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? was based on the very different movie version, with the original book dismissed in passing as a dream Jessica had. (Though how a character in the 1940s could have a dream set in the 1980s is beyond me.) If the movie is better known than the book, and it usually is, then it's good business to do a sequel to the movie instead of the book.
Good point. Logan's World, the sequel to the novel Logan's Run, didn't literally ignore the first book, but very quickly advanced the plot so that the beginning of the sequel more or less synched up with the ending of the movie. Like in about five pages or so . . . .

On other hand, Stephen King's new sequel to The Shining is very much a sequel to his earlier novel, not the Kubrick movie version. I read an interview with him in which he acknowledged that this is likely to confuse some readers who are more familiar with the movie, but he's still treating his own book as canon as it were . . . and who can blame him?

Here's a potential confusing situation. The TV-movie The Night Stalker (scripted by Richard Matheson) was based on The Kolchak Papers, a (then) unpublished novel by Jeff Rice. When the TV version was a huge ratings success, a tie-in edition of Rice's novel was finally published--under the title The Night Stalker, of course.

Later, when Matheson scripted a TV-movie sequel, The Night Strangler, Rice was tapped to write the novelization of the sequel to the movie based on his book!

Got that?
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Old December 30 2013, 05:59 PM   #60
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Re: Off Topic: Movie Tie-In Editions

Classic 1970s British cop show The Sweeney had tie-in novels based on the original concept rather than the actual show. The story goes that after the creator of the show and the man hired to produce it had creative differences, the creator walked. This meant the tie-in novels (which he supervised) were wildly different to what the series had done with the same characters and situation. Of course, they were published with photos of lead actor John Thaw on the front cover, even though the phrase "TV Tie-In" was a loose description at best...
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