Film Adaptation

For this unit on adaptation, we will observe medium-specificity.  What this means is that we will treat books and movies as apples and oranges.  One is not inferior to the other.  They just use a different language to communicate.

Literature uses a wide array of linguistic constructions, from the utilitarian to the most poetic.  You might think of something like metaphor or rhyme as examples of the latter.

On the other hand, cinema uses mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound.  Think of how much attention David Lynch placed on all of these details to direct his films.

So, let’s try this exercise.  Here is the first sentence from E.L. James’s 2011 bestseller, 50 Shades of Grey:

“I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.”

How might I adapt this sentence if I were a film director?  “I” and “myself” indicating a personal narrative (should I use a first person camera?).  There are, technically speaking, two persons here (including the reflection).  The mirror seems like an important artifact–its place in the sentence suggests more than a mere decorative prop.  Questions of identity, and possibly body dysmorphia loom large.  The words “scowl” and “frustration” are redundant.  Does one “scowl” without feeling “frustration”?  And yet there is an opportunity here for cinematic emphasis.  What will it be?  A close up revealing an actress wearing heavy make-up? No make-up at all?  A particular type of speech/noise sound coming from her to indicate how she feels?  What other possibilities exist?

You see that I am giving this one sentence a very thorough reading, and then thinking about how I might adapt it.  I’d like you to do the same with a novel that you’ve read.  Give me the first sentence, and then tell me how you might go about adapting it.  You may choose any novel.  No need to read a new one.  Please include the name of the novel and the sentence, and then write a 100-word blog post of how you’d approach your job as director.

Please post by next Tuesday at 6 pm.  That gives you a full week.

40 thoughts on “Film Adaptation

  1. “Which is almost literally how The Navidson Record begins, with Will Navidson relaxing on the porch of his small, old-style heritage house, enjoying a glass of lemonade, watching the sun turn the first few minutes of daytime into gold.” House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

    The first shot would be an establishing shot which is a continuous, low angle, long shot of the front of an old home. Navidson would come out the front door and sit down at a shoddy chair next to a table. The camera distance would make seeing him clearly difficult. This shot would have only frontal lighting as the sun rises and, as soon as Navidson sat down, the camera would zoom in slowly to him for around 30 seconds. As he beings to drink lemonade, it cuts to a medium close-up with a match on action of him drinking.

  2. “O’er better waves to speed her rapid course
    The light bark of my genius lifts the sail,
    Well pleas’d to leave so cruel sea behind;
    And of that second region will I sing,
    In which the human spirit from sinful blot
    Is purg’d, and for ascent to
    Heaven prepares.” -Divine Comedy, Purgatory by Dante Alighieri

    This scene depicts Dante sailing through a stormy sea to which he is relieved to make it to calmer seas. I would set this scene up with an establishing shot of a large ocean with violent waves. A storm is occurring with lightning and rain and a boat sailing through the large waves slowly. A cut to Dante holding on as he sails his ship and then cut back to the ship as he slowly makes his way out of the storm. As time goes on in the scene, the rain slowly dies down as he is sailing away from the storm to where it would cut to a rear shot of his boat sailing off into calmer ocean but the sky still dark and darkly clouded. Cut to next scene in the Canto.

  3. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Since this book heavily uses comedic narration for its story, I thought it would be good to use the sentence as narration for the scene. I would start this scene with an extreme long-shot of space, showing thousands of distant stars, planets, and galaxies. The narration begins and it cuts to another extreme long-shot of our galaxy, which then cuts to the solar system and the sun. Once the narration goes over the part of the sentence about humans, the shot cuts to a full group shot of people in a store looking at digital watches. Once the narration ends (after talking about said digital watches), the camera will cut a medium shot of the main protagonist of the story (Arthur Dent) walking outside and glancing inside the window before moving along. The idea behind this scene was to emphasize the smallness of Earth compared to the Universe (scaling down) but also to show another goal of the scene– to introduce the main character, who is the last one to live after the Earth is destroyed.

  4. “I remember telling the monks about my choice. We were kneeling by the swamp. We had been fasting for five days, and on the third day, we had each eaten a handful of salt to further heighten our agony. I could tell by the other monk’s groans that they were nearing their breaking point. But I was just getting started.”
    -Hands, by Simon Rich
    It would start with a shot of the monks from above at the swamp, the camera looking straight down at them to communicate the feeling of the sun beating down on them, and then cut to a panning medium shot of each of the monks in pain, before settling on the monk who is narrating. The use of natural light would be overexposed, to show the discomfort of the monks to the audience and have an aura of discomfort for the audience as well. There would be silence, except for the diegetic sound of the monks groaning, and the sounds of the swamp. Then the camera would zoom in on the face of the monk that is narrating, to show a look of determination

  5. ““Perhaps I’ve been unfair to myself,” he observed gloomily, pondering, “perhaps after all I am a man and not a louse and I’ve been in too great a hurry to condemn myself. I’ll make another fight for it.” A haughty smile appeared on his lips.”-Quote by Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (By Fyodor Dostoevsky)

    To adapt this scene, as Raskolnikov ponders to himself and looks gloomily, the camera would be first person. It would be a shot of him looking at his surroundings from his eyes. His dialogue would play as he is looking at things. There would then be a quick cut to a third person camera viewing his expression. As the scene goes on, there would be a shift in the mood as the haughty smile appears. The audience would hear his dialogue and see his mood shift. The audience would see the initial gloomy expression that at first was not seen until the camera made a quick cut. Then, the audience would see his mood change. Perhaps he could even raise his fist as he says “after all I am a man” and he could stand up and then crack his smile.

  6. My first post isn’t showing up, so I am redoing it:
    “The circus arrives without warning.”-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    The first shot would be of a single circus tent with black and white vertical stripes. Behind the tent in focus are many other tents with the same coloring, with varying widths of stripes. This shot lasts 3 seconds. There is nondiegetic somber music. The next shot is an extreme close up of popcorn popping, light diegetic popping sounds. The distancing will allow for about 7 kernals to be shown in the frame. The somber music continues. This shot lasts 3 seconds. The next shot is of a ticket booth of similar colors to the tents. These shots are not in grey scale, the sky is a light blue/grey color and the grass is a yellowy-green. The nondiegetic music is continued. Then the final shot is a pan shot lasting 6 second it starts on a close up of the gate that marks the entrance of the circus and pans out between people finally showing ordinarily dressed people facing the gate, their backs to the camera. They are talking, but it can not be heard. The somber music has increased in its pace and is becoming more upbeat.

  7. “Micheal J Roscoe was a careful man. The car that drove him to work at seven-fifteen each morning was a custom-made Mercedes with reinforced-steel doors and bullet-proof windows. His driver, a retired FBI agent, carried a Berreta sub-compact semi-automatic pistol and knew how to use it.” Alex Rider: Point Blanc
    The shot would start with a mirror shot as Roscoe gets ready for work. The lighting would be dim to cast shadows on Roscoe. The shot would then pan to the clock showing seven-fifteen in the morning. Then cut back to roscoe with a shot over his shoulder as he walks out of his front door and towards the car. The shot would then cut between the driver standing outside the car waiting for Roscoe and his pistol and the car itself. Ending on a front-on shot view of the car as it drives towards the camera and fades to black. The score would have a James Bond-like theme and the other sound would be the engine of the car and narration of the scene by an old male voice similar to that of Robert Di Nero or Micheal Caine.

  8. The novel I chose is “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. The first sentence is, “The tropical rain fell in drenching sheets, hammering the corrugated roof of the clinic building, roaring down the metal gutters, splashing on the ground in a torrent.” This serves as a great opportunity for an establishing shot, making the setting clear right away. As the sentence starts with the rain rather than the roof, I’d choose to start with a wide shot showing what sounds like a tropical environment in the background before panning down to the clinic roof being hammered by rain. This highlights the juxtaposition of this artificial human construction and the natural environment, a prevalent theme throughout Jurassic Park. I’d continue panning down, following the loud sounds of the rain “roaring” down the gutters, and end the pan at ground level showing the rain “splashing on the ground in a torrent”. This creates a fluid motion following the rain from the sky (Showcasing the background environment) to the roof to the gutters and finally to the ground, and establishes the location of the first scene. I would have no music, emphasizing the roaring of the rain.

  9. “The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.” – Looking for Alaska by John Green.
    The first shot would take place in the main characters living room. There would be some chips and dip on the table, a few liters of soda and a few stacks of red solo cups sitting on the counter. Streamers would hang from the ceiling and a few balloons would be spread out around the room. In the book, nobody shows up to the party, so the first few shots would be of the mom setting up all of the decorations and snacks, followed by a shot of the mother, father, and the main character sitting on the couch in an awkward silence, awaiting for the ring of a doorbell that would never come.

  10. “Mr. Jones of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-hole” Animal Farm By: George Orwell

    My adaptation of Animal Farm would begin in the skies of England over a dirt road leading to the farm. The camera would slowly descend into the perspective of a human in the drivers seat of an old rickety pickup truck. Simultaneously the narration would begin commenting on Mr. Jones. The truck would pull up to the barn. The camera would go through the front windshield and slow zoom through the slightly ajar barn doors overlooking the animal’s first meeting. My goal is to make the viewer feel like a silent character approaching the farm and watching farm life unfold.

  11. In the book Caraval by Stephanie Garber, the first sentence states “It took seven years to get the letter right.” The book goes on to show many different letters trying to get across the same message. So how would you direct the scene? Caraval is a book set in a kind of renaissance setting. The scene would start in an old castle looking room with a girl at her desk. She is writing a letter, then realizes that it is not good enough so she throughs the letter away and starts again. The shot would be a high angle shot looking down on the girl in a gown the camera moving in a swish tilt shot. The room is lighted by candles. As the shot progresses the camera pans down to be angled just above the girl. Still looking down as the girl distraught tries to write her letter correctly. After a couple of letters being thrown away, the shot would go into a montage type sequence. The shot would end with the girl writing the letter correctly. She sighs and looks at the letter, then folds it up and puts in in the envelope, and then seels it with some wax. As she seels the letter the camera transitions into black.

  12. “The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog” -Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens)

    To adapt this opening sentence into a scene, I would first start the scene out with non- diegetic sounds of nature over a low angle camera right above the waters of a marsh. The camera would be facing slightly upward, at about a 45 degree angle, enough to capture the misty and swampy waters of the marsh, as well as the fog that covers the surrounding nature like a misty, cool blanket. This opening sentence relies heavily on scenery, which is why the camera would remain on this image in order for the audience to truly soak up the meaning and effort applied in both the novel and film. The camera would very slowly pan across the marsh, slowly wading through the fog, which looks as if it has the sun itself is shining deeply within, giving off an eerie warm light that allows the audience to feel the warmth of the “August-hot morning”. At the conclusion of this scene, the camera will cut to a back screen, allowing for an appropriate feel and introduction I to the next.

  13. “Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the figurines on the etagere.”-Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi
    The first shot taken would take place at the communion, a crane shot over the people there. The murmuring of the pastor leading the communion. Then the shot will cut to a close-up shot of the father’s face looking around the communion area for his son. Cut to a medium shot of people to the father’s left and then a medium shot to his right. Back to a close-up shot of the father’s face and the narrowing of his eyes as he realizes his son is not present. The scene will then cut to a close-up shot of the missile being thrown across the room and hitting the figurines with a loud smashing sound.

  14. “We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.-Feed by M.T Anderson. I would start the scene with a slow fade in of an upward panning shot of the moon elevator the main character and his friends use to get to the moon. Then I would cut to a montage of all the things the group was doing on the moon, with each shot showing all the characters being very bored and trying to find something fun to do. Each scene in the montage would probably be around one to two seconds long in length. I would also put in the montage a few shots of other people really enjoying themselves while on the moon, put randomly in-between the shots I mentioned previously.

  15. Jonathan Harker’s Journal – (Kept in shorthand)
    3 May. Bistritz.—Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46 but train was an hour late.
    Dracula – Bram Stoker

    The first shot would fade in and be an extreme close-up of Jonathan Harker’s Journal accompanied by low key lighting and would be a continuous shot zooming out to a long shot to reveal Jonathan writing in his journal. A sound bridge of the internal diegetic sound of Jonathan Harker reading over his journal entry as he writes it would connect the shots. The second shot would cut to an establishing long shot of a train moving east towards Vienna from Munich at night. The continuous shot would zoom in to focus on the window that Jonathan would be leaning against while asleep on his train ride.

  16. “The boy with the fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.” -Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
    This first scene would be set in a more tropical setting, as insinuated by the word lagoon as opposed to lake, with an abundance of nature surrounding the body of water and several larger rocks. The boy would look to be a teenager with dirty blonde colored hair. There the camera would follow the boy as he comes from a small dirt path and climbs down from a shorter rock and begins to make his way over to the lagoon, taking care to avoid anything he might be in danger of stepping on. This setting would be more dimly lit because of the tree coverage and would have the non-diegetic sounds of different kinds of birds and animals that inhabit that area.

  17. “We are at rest five miles behind the front.” – Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on The Western Front.

    Rest — is of the essence of this first, establishing scene. That’s what needs to be conveyed first and foremost. The sound is entirely diagetic, and the lighting is natural. Maybe an aerial shot of the men at their stations, at ease, moving around, indulging in their freshly-prepared meals, sipping on coffee, laughing and behaving with an ease that you are positive is likely to not be seen again. An emphasis is drawn on their cheerful sounds, as it slowly fades to distant artillery fire. They may be at rest five miles behind the front, but the war looms, ever present.

  18. “The school-room at Roselands was a very pleasant apartment; the ceiling, it is true, was somewhat lower than in the more modern portion of the building, for the wing in which it was situated dated back to the old-fashioned days prior to the Revolution, while the larger part of the mansion had not stood more than twenty or thirty years; but the effect was relieved by windows reaching from floor to ceiling, and opening on a veranda which overlooked a lovely flower-garden, beyond which were fields and woods and hills.” Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley

    The film would start with an establishing shot of an old plantation house. It would then cut to a tracking, medium shot of a young girl in period-accurate clothes walking down a hallway that connects the new portion of the building to the older portion. As she reaches the school-room the tracking shot would cut to a long shot of her opening the doors and entering. It would then cut to a long shot of the school-room that would then zoom through an open window to someone standing on the veranda. During the entire scene peaceful, non-diegetic music would be playing in the background.

  19. “Maman died today” – Albert Camus’ L’etranger

    The opening scene in a film adaptation of this book is critical as the first sentence has been so widely debated and considered. I would open this film in black and white, echoing Meursault’s lack of vibrance and to attempt to interact with the time in which the book was written. The camera will pan left to right across a window revealing the outside world bustling through a window, the camera would begin to tilt downward to a close up of a desk. The desk would be cluttered with all manner of things, a bottle of wine, pens, paper, and in the center a letter reading from “Evergreen Nursing Home.” Then a cut to black and a non diegetic voiceover of our protagonist saying Camus’ famous first line.

  20. “Three children lay on the rocks at the water’s edge.” -Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest
    The scene would start with the camera looking down over the water’s surface moving forward fast. We can hear the sound of water lapping, tree leaves rustling, and wings flapping. The shot cuts to the camera looking across the water, still moving fast now to the right. A birds foot comes down from the top of the shot and drags in water for a second. The camera follows the birds action as it flies upward past a girl who has her fingers dipping in the water. The camera stops on a close up shot of the girl’s face and the bird flies out of the shot. The girl follows the birds action with her eyes then looks down at the water the camera moves downward with her eyes. It cuts to a wide shot of three children on the rocks at the waters edge. The little girl titters on the edge reaching her fingers into the water. Two older boys are on either side of her. One sits up resting his head on his knee and the other lays down on his back looking up at the sky.

  21. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    In this initial scene, there should be an establishing shot of a white house and picket fence, in the afternoon when the sun is brightest. The camera then cuts to a medium close up of a young girl around the age of ten. She’s writing in her journal, as her thoughts are vocalized in her mind for the audience. The girl is sitting under a tree, with bright green grass surrounding her. The girls voice has a significant southern accent as she reads off the sentence in her mind. As the girl finishes her sentence, she looks up and ponders, as the camera cuts to a medium long shot of her brother playing in the driveway across from her.

  22. “Kellis-Amberlee blood testing units hurt on purpose.” – Feed by Mira Grant
    The scene would start with a panning overhead shot, tracking a motorcycle carrying two passengers. It slows to a halt and pulls off of the road at a post-apocalyptic sign saying “Welcome to Aptos.” It cuts to a medium shot focused on the passengers. The driver, a young woman with bleach-blonde hair, pulls off her helmet and dismounts from the motorcycle. She refuels the motorcycle, then pulls out two blood testing units from the bike’s storage. The other passenger, a young man, takes off his helmet and takes the unit that she hands him, grumbling while removing the packaging. On the count of two, they both place their forefingers in the units. They wince in pain, then there is a close-up shot on the unit as the lights on the unit flash red and green, before slowly settling on green. The camera cuts back to a medium close-up of the woman’s face as she lets out a sigh of relief.

  23. “ I was walking into the forest with my grandmother one morning “ – Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic

    While this is a very simple establishing shot, I believe there are endless possibilities. I would begin with a long shot of a tree line separating the thickened forest from the road it borders. Hidden in the brush would be a small footpath, hardly noticeable at first. The shot would remain still as the young girl and her grandmother entered the frame and made their way down the path. It would remain silent until they stepped into frame, in which the crunching of leaves and rustling of wind in the leaves would be heard. It would cut into a medium length tracking shot that would show just the legs and shoes of the two as they meandered into the woods, stepping on dead leaves and twigs as they passed.

  24. “Jircniv Rune Farlod El Nix, unrivaled sovereign of the empire, the young man feared as “the Fresh Blood Emperor,” examined his acting for errors.”-The Caster of Destruction by Kugane Maruyama

    I would start this scene by fading into an establishing shot of the chambers of Jircniv, before panning over to a medium close-up shot of Jircniv studying himself in the mirror. The camera would then cut to a shot where the mirror is easily visible and the actor is out of sight. I would have Jircniv try to make various expressions in the mirror. It would start with Jircniv smiling and saying something along the lines of “Welcome to my court.” It would then cut to a shot of him laughing in front of the mirror. Finally, it would cut to Jircniv defaulting to a cold harsh stare. The camera would cut to a side view where Jircniv examines his face more closely in the mirror. I would then have the camera cut to a straight on shot of the actor playing Jircniv (instead of the mirror) as he then put on the smiling face again as he then exits his chambers to greet his guests.

  25. “It was a dull autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym.” – The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

    This would start with an establishing shot in the air, looking over a town with plenty of trees turning orange for fall. This would be filmed on an grey, overcast day. The camera would travel down below the top of the trees, where we would then see the front of a brick school building. Then we’d cut to a medium close-up shot of a girl crying. She’s be crouched and leaning against a dirty brick wall. In the left side of the screen, the wall would end and you can see and alley. There would be diegetic sound of her sobs and a gentle breeze blowing leaves in the background. As we see her crying, a boy would appear in the alley and walk around the corner, bumping into her. During their conversation, there would be a few shot-reverse shots between the pair, and when she mentions “them” we’d enter a new scene.

  26. “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I never left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.” – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    If I was the director of this movie, I would have the first shot be a close up of Hazel looking back on herself in the mirror, with audio overhead saying her mom thinks she is depressed. I would then have the shot cut to a series of flashbacks making a montage, filled with memories regarding why Hazel’s mom believes she is depressed. I would also include conversation or fighting between the two in the past to show the viewer parts of the mother daughter relationship. However, the audio playing during the montage would be Hazel saying the rest of this quote only.

  27. “Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.”
    –Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    The main focus of this sentence seems to be the door. Not Coraline or the fact that her and her family have just moved into her house, but the door. To open a film using this sentence, I would probably start with an establishing shot of the house. I wouldn’t have it be to close to the house though, maybe far away enough to see moving vans and the family carrying in various boxes and belongings to establish that the family was just moving in. Once the house and the family moving have been established, I would have the camera slowly move closer to the house and then into the front door, almost like a first person view of someone walking into the house. The camera would follow the path of someone walking through the house, maybe closer to the ground since Coraline is a child, and eventually stop at the “little door” mentioned in the first sentence. It would linger there long enough for the audience to know that the door was important before moving on.

  28. Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard.
    Sentence: “A blast of gunfire explodes over my head, forcing me to drop to the floor” Pg 73
    The setting would take place in a long mirrored hall and the protagonist has just run up the stairs. So a shot would be made of her standing in front of the stairs she just climbed panting from the running. Maybe a little bit of artificial sweat as well on the make-up. She is staring at the setting before her so I would definitely have a shot of the room through her perspective before cutting back to her from an outside viewer’s perspective as a bullet sound rings out. I believe I would make the sound diegetic because these sounds would come from the world, her panting, and gunshots, etc. I would probably make a flash in the edits to signify that it came from behind her and the gunshot was being aimed towards her. After the gunshot rings out she would drop to the floor with the camera tracking her movements. Her body language should suggest that she is just protecting herself, no shivering or cowering because she is not that kind of woman. I would like to create the image from her body language that she is strong and only had dropped in order to protect herself from being wounded.

  29. “My suffering left me sad and gloomy.” -Yann Martel. Life of Pie
    This shot requires context as Life of Pie ends with two possible outcomes with the reader left to choose one to believe. If we believe the author set up the happy story so Pie can live with himself and have a story to tell, the shot would go like this. Open immediately with an overhead shot of two men sitting across from each other. we can see fan blades spinning (camera even above the fan). cut to straight on close-up of the interviewer Pie is talking to. The interviewer appears empathetic, concerned and a little disturbed about what he is hearing. He has a pen and paper prop. The camera has an eye match cut directly to the same straight on close-up but this time of Pie’s face. He appears upset and has reservations about delivering the line “my suffering left me sad and gloomy”
    This delivery is important because although we don’t know for sure in the end how things went for Pie, the haunting look in his eyes and body language suggest the happy ending was not real.

  30. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
    I would first start this scene with a long shot showing a view with Jay Gatsby, who is dressed in some type of formal clothing (like a tuxedo), gazing at the green blinking light in the distance, that is on Daisy’s pier, while he is standing on a pier there is a paddleboat floating close by the pier on a knotted rope tied to the pier. I would have the stars in the sky to be reflecting across the water of the lake that is leading to the green light. I would slowly zoom into a medium shot that views Gatsby’s back as he slowly reaches for the light. I would then do a cut to a close up of Gatsby’s face as he gazes at the light. It will then go to an extreme close up view of one of his eyes and it shows the reflection of the green light blinking on and off to show his obsession with this green light. In this scene, I will have some type of slow orchestra playing soothing music at a low volume to this specific scene throughout the whole scene.

  31. “I’ve been looking for Sawyer for half a lifetime when I find him standing in front of the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven on Federal Highway, gazing through the window at the frozen, neon-bright churning like he’s expecting mysteries of the universe to be revealed to him from inside.” – How to Love by Katie Cotugno

    The girl is on the outside of an old run-down 7-Eleven to show that she’s in a rural area. The boy would be a boy on the inside making a Slurpee. The lighting would be pretty dark except for the fluorescents of the lights inside the store and it would only be bright enough to see her face outside, but still gloomier to show the contrast of who the characters are now. How she feels about him should be read on her face. The book goes back and forth in before and after which mad it mysterious and you don’t really know whats going on with her would bring that mysterious element in.

  32. “In a few minutes hundreds of tissues sailed over the corn field. I held the hair out of my eyes to watch. The tissues looked like giant butterflies.” – Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata

    The film opens with an aerial long shot of a yellow corn field, moving slowly in the opposite direction of the movement of the scattered, floating tissues. The camera comes to a stop over the roof of a home, where two little girls are perched. Cut to a medium-long shot from behind the pair, contrasting their silhouettes against the blue of the sky. Cut to a close up of the older girl’s hand as she grabs the last tissue and releases it to the wind, then slowly pan around and zoom out as the camera tracks its flight over the corn field. Cut away before it falls, to a medium close-up of the girls’ entranced, smiling faces as the younger actress reaches up to push her hair back so that she can see better. (The wind should be strong enough to affect their hair and clothes.) The colors should be bright, but with a slight sepia or yellow overtone to indicate that this is a cherished childhood memory for the main character.

  33. “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant time to thinking about death.”- The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

    The first shot would take place in the girl’s bedroom with a straight-on angle of her in her bed reading the book that she reads over and over with light coming in from the window where we see a sheet of white snow on the ground and snowflakes falling. There will be the non-diegetic sound of sad, soft music to indicate the somber mood of the room. The props in the bedroom will make it look like it is very lived in as she rarely leaves the house. She will have little to no makeup on and her outfit will be loungewear and comfortable looking. This shot will last around 10 seconds.

  34. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    “The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and he began to pick his way toward the lagoon”

    There will be a fade in to the establishing shot of a peaceful and empty beach with diegetic sounds of seagulls, waves lapping against the sand and the wind blowing. the shot will zoom in to a boy with fair hair around the age of 11 sitting on top of a large boulder with his knees tucked into his chest looking out into the ocean. The shot will zoom all the way into a closeup of the profile of the boy. He will be wearing a dirtied and sweat stained white button up shirt with black slacks and dress shoes (a school uniform) that are also dirtied and he will have a polo sweater lying next to him on the rock. The shot will linger on him in a contemplative and shocked state until we hear another boy call out in the distance. The camera will then cut out to show the boy climbing down from the boulder and running into the jungle area where we see a large crash line starting at the edge of the of the treeline and deep into the jungle

  35. “Linda Palacios heard a thousand doors of opportunity slam all around her. The HR manager at Jacobsen Financial looked over her application and shook his head.” -Vivir el Dream by Allison Garcia.
    This scene would take place in a meeting room in an office building. There wouldn’t be any music because the scene should be a little tense, but there would be sounds of an office and the sounds of the application pages flipping would be heard. I would have a shot of Linda dressed in work clothes. She is really put together, but she is sitting tense and is smiling like she is trying too hard to be likable. There would be a close up on the application from her perspective as the manager flips through it, and then another shot that shows the manager as he reads and shakes his head. Another shot of Linda loosening a little and the smile falling as she realizes what he is going to say.

  36. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
    If I were to direct this scene, the first thing I would do it shoot and establishing shot of Privet Drive. After this shot, I would pan down the street to see all or most of the houses on the book looking exactly the same. This would display that we were in a very in a very normal and uniform neighborhood. The scene would not include any music, only the white noise that one would hear outside. I would also have my scene take place at night. I believe this would help give off a very neural tone to lead into what could happen next.

  37. “Since Atlanta, she looked out of the dining-car window with a delight almost physical.” – Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
    This scene could start with a high angle crane shot, looking down over a train moving through dusty fields in Georgia. The camera would pan and lower to the side of the train, tracking and focusing on one window. It would then cut to a low angle, medium distance shot of a woman within the cabin of the the window, leaning against it and gazing out as scattered houses begin to appear. The woman is looking through with an expression of joy and anticipation, and there would be a soft, wordless country tune playing in the background throughout.

  38. “The fairies flew suspended on wires despite their tendency to get tangled together.”
    “Eyes Like Stars” – Lisa Mantchev

    ‪The shot would likely be a fade-in to the main character Bertie’s room, with the fairies swinging into frame on their wires, yelling when they eventually collide with each other. The lighting would be dim to let the audience see the fairies glowing. The camera would hang on them as they struggle to right themselves in a medium-wide shot, making sure they’re all in frame. Once they finally break apart and swing off in different directions, the camera would cut to the foot of Bertie’s chair, then pan up revealing the hair dye on her vanity, and then her freshly-dyed blue hair.

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