_ I could not understand why cinema adaptations of novels, with few exceptions, deviated from the written version...until I wrote a screenplay. Mine was an original work (biopic of Ho Chi Minh), but I learned the different requirements of film. The screenwriter must constantly ask: “What will the audience thinks when they see this scene?” A novelist can take as long as he or she wants to explain feelings, thoughts, or memories; a film must “show” them...which is often impossible. Read Eat, Pray, Love and then see the film: one works and the other does not (except that it has nice visuals to aid those without experiences or imagination).
I considered this dilemma, as I watched a newly produced television movie of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Treasure Island. Unfortunately, I had recently read the classic (it’s available for free on Kindle), the novel was fresh in my mind. It would been easy for to produce a straight-forward adaption...but, for some reason, the screenwriter felt the need to change the storyline, give characters different personalities, add bits, and invent characters. None of the additions or changes improved the original. If fact, it made the story worse and angered me (and, perhaps, other purists).
Some classics, if not all, cannot be improved by trying to force them into a 21st century, video game world. There oughta be a law...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.