Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 2, Day 4) – Page to Screen
Phew! Today was a whirlwind of interpretations. Students started the day as a class, picking apart both adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While the earlier one brought the lightness of the text to life, the later one brought the rude darkness forth that makes Dahl so unique. The end result is that neither one is up to snuff.
After reading And Then There Were None, students watched a few different adaptations. This experience was unique in that three of those adaptations were based on very similar scripts that took several liberties with the original text. The idea of the scene was intact, though, so it still seemed to fit the definition of an adaptation.
The last adaptation of Christie’s text shook up this idea, however: Gumnaam. An Indian thriller from 1965, the butler was a slapstick comedian, and the haunting voice over the loudspeakers was changed into a haunting song. Accusations were vague, and the number of characters were different. The host even sat at the table. As a result, does it count as an adaptation? How much of the original story has to be intact for it to count?
Finally, two different edits of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone prepared students for the final project. After trying to cut down a scene from the text, students watched the extended cut, which removed even more. Once they agreed that the point of the scene was still largely intact, we watched the theatrical cut, which cut even more.
How does this tie into the final project? Students will now watch nearly a dozen different adaptations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and then they will have to write their own. While the lengths of the professional adaptations range in time from 2 minutes to 14, they must contain the point of the scene in 3 minutes – a challenge, to say the least.