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How to Adapt Anything into a Screenplay

How to Adapt Anything into a Screenplay

by Richard Krevolin


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From concept to finished draft-a nuts-and-bolts approach to adaptations

Aspiring and established screenwriters everywhere, take note! This down-to-earth guide is the first to clearly articulate the craft of adaptation. Drawing on his own experience and on fourteen years of teaching, screenwriter Richard Krevolin presents his proven five-step process for adapting anything-from novels and short stories to newspaper articles and poems-into a screenplay. Used by thousands of novelists, playwrights, poets, and journalists around the country, this can't-miss process features practical advice on how to break down a story into its essential components, as well as utilizes case studies of successful adaptations. Krevolin also provides an insider's view of working and surviving within the Hollywood system-covering the legal issues, interviewing studio insiders on what they are looking for, and offering tips from established screenwriters who specialize in adaptations.
* Outlines a series of stages that help you structure your story to fit the needs of a 120-page screenplay
* Explains how to adapt anything for Hollywood, from a single sentence story idea all the way to a thousand-page novel
* Advises on the tricky subject of just how faithful your adaptation should be
* Features helpful hints from Hollywood bigwigs-award-winning television writer Larry Brody; screenwriter and script reader Henry Jones; screenwriter and author Robin Russin; screenwriter and author Simon Rose; and more

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471225454
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/13/2003
Pages: 218
Sales rank: 315,254
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.11(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

RICHARD KREVOLIN has taught screenwriting at USC Cinema School, Ithaca College, and UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television since 1988. He regularly conducts writers’ workshops and screenwriting seminars around the country. A pair of screenplays Krevolin adapted from two of his successful stage plays, King Levine and Lawrence of Suburbia, have been optioned and are in development. His one-man show, Boychik, had lengthy runs at the Santa Monica Playhouse and Off Broadway, and toured the country. Krevolin is also the author of Screenwriting from the Soul.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeff Arch.



1. A Short History of Adaptations.

2. Professor K.’s Five-Step Adaptation Process.

3. Legal Issues of Adaptations.

4. How Faithful Should Adaptations Be?

Case Study: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

5. Mining the Vein and Extracting the Gold.

Case Study: The Shawshank Redemption.

6. Truth, Lies, and Alternative Structures.

Case Study: Rashomon.

7. Compiling Characters, Cherry-Picking, and Captain Phenomenal.

Case Study: The Patriot.

8. Reinterpreting and Reinventing the Storytelling Wheel.

Case Study: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

9. I Know It Really Happened That Way, But . . . .

Case Study: Madison.

10. Learning by Writing Across the Genres.

Case Study: Glengarry Glen Ross.

11. Good, Evil, and the Eternal Combat Over Adaptations.

Case Study: X-Men.

12. Smart Choices with Source Material.

Case Study: Shiloh.

13. Hints from and Interviews with Hollywood Bigwigs.



What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

'A well thought out and professional book on adaptation. Richard Krevolin has done the heavy lifting and put together an indispensable guide for any serious screenwriter. How to Adapt Anything Into A Screenplay has a permanent place beside my computer. . . The best book on adaptation, hands down.'—Jack Epps, Jr., screenwriter for Top Gun, Dick Tracy, The Secret Of My Success

"Enlightens and clarifies the adaptation process...It's like a semester of film school only a lot cheaper and you can learn while lying on your couch in your underwear."—Tom DeSanto, screenwriter for X-Men, Apt Pupil, X-Men II

'Richard Krevolin understands that writers of adaptations owe little to the original material. Instead, like all screenwriters, they owe audiences the best possible movie. He asserts quite rightly, in clear and engaging language, that adaptations are more like original screenplays than they are different from them. And in doing so, he has written the best book possible.'—Prof. Richard Walter, UCLA School of Cinema Screenwriting Chairman

"Oh good, another book I don't have to write since Richard Krevolin's done such a bang-up job of it. He's distilled not only the essence of the art of adaptation but also reminded us of the essentials of drama and why we want to tell stories in the first place."—Chris Vogler, author of The Writer's Journey

'I wish I had this book when I was adapting the life of Jake LaMotta into the screenplay for Raging Bull.'—Mardik Martin, screenwriter for Raging Bull, Mean Streets, and New York, New York

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