- Pick a text, and write a brief synopsis. Imagine the proce...
Pick a text, and write a brief synopsis. Imagine the process of production, identifying the changes needed for an adaptation to the screen. Underline director and casting suggestions, give an indication of scale, and whether it is intended for world-wide cinema release, small art-house release or television and why.
The text chosen for an adaptation to the big screen is Yann
Martel's 2002 Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi. A
brief synopsis of the major plot points is given below:
Piscine "Pi" Patel is an Indian boy who grows up in Pondicherry
with his mother, father and brother Ravi. His father owns the local
zoo, and Pi, as he becomes known, spends a happy childhood,
surrounded by the animals of whose lives he takes a keen interest.
He also develops spiritually and becomes a devoted practitioner of
the Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths.
As previously stated, the film is not intended nor expected to
be a summer smash hit; instead a low-level release can be envisaged
around the November/December period in order to attract attention
for the award season. (Bordwell & Thompson, 2004, p9). An
Academy Award nomination combined with the pull of the award
winning book would hopefully then create extra "buzz" around the
film, providing an additional reason for film fans to go and see
it, and a more widespread release could then be co-ordinated in the
early spring. Releasing the film during this period also ensures it
would not get lost amongst all the summer blockbusters which may
otherwise overwhelm any news of its release.
What we are left with then, is a film from an acclaimed original
novel, with a respected director at the helm. The novel will be
followed fairly closely with a few minor changes as described
above. The film will be aimed at a cineaste audience, many of whom
will already be familiar with the source material. The director
will be given the freedom to stamp his authorial vision on the
film, making it visually appealing, and working with themes in
which he has historically shown an interest with his films. A
modestly budgeted and relatively small scale affair in comparison
to the large Hollywood productions, the film will aim to attract
attention during the award season, and should the nominations
accrue, an initial limited release on the art circuit may well be
extended, leading to the film gaining momentum and becoming a
sleeper hit, extending beyond its target audience of those familiar
with the book.