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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.

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