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Thoughts on adaptations / how would you adapt The Raw Shark Texts? Options
blanckien
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 1:16:05 PM
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i haven't been on this forum in ages! hi again everyone. not sure why the migration from rawsharktexts.com to steven-hall.org happened, but i figured out how to log in.

i am reading this thread at five a.m. pst when i should be panicking over other things, so i apologize if this isn't fantastically coherent. but:

i also think the ludovician is probably going to be one of the hardest parts of the book to adapt, simply because you can't convert a flip-book text-based shark into a movie shark. i'm sure some of you think that'd be easy as pie, but a conceptual shark is not the same thing as a text shark.

i'd also go with the flashing images, whoever brought that up if anyone. the part where shark shimmers under the checkered tiles would probably make for a great scene, but the snippet texts that the ludovician was made up of are probably super important as well.

so if there were a way to do the ludovician as ridiculous, static-like interruptions of an almost epilepsy-inducing montage of different images and sounds (related to the scene, of course-- the scary jaws scene would obviously involve a snippet or two of jaws, as if eric's buried memories are flashing before his eyes during the scene-- and the scene itself would be a composite of those flashes of memory, like how a dream is made of random parts of your memories!), but those flashes were predominantly overlaid with audio of eric reading the specific texts that make up the shark in the book... i'd go for that.

tell me if that doesn't make sense. definitely did in my head. i can clarify. and the "current scene is made from a composite of eric's memories" idea probably gives away my opinion on eric's state of mind, but it should be vague enough for movie viewers to interpret it different ways with multiple watchings like we have with multiple readings of the book.

i am also concerned with the final ending being too concrete. unless you pull a "butterfly effect" and have multiple endings in different theaters-- heck, even within the same theater! omg-- different endings depending on which salle you're in! i'm sure theaters would love that. might become a nightmare to distribute, but think about all the extra ticket sales if it ends up being good.
MiaVRO
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 9:01:28 PM

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blanckien wrote:
the scary jaws scene would obviously involve a snippet or two of jaws

I was totally thinking about the Jaws part of the ending recently...
How someone thought it could be a potential cop out.
Which it could be if not done right...
But how cool would it be to re-create the Jaws ending with Eric Sanderson, but also overlaying snips of the actual Jaws film ending. So cutting from one scene with Eric to the actual film scene. Back and forth (just, not as confusing as it possibly sounds right now) So the parallel is actually there, and viewers aren't just sitting there thinking ".... I've seen this before"

And blanckien, i really like your idea of the flashes of Eric and his images and past and what-not.
LOST fans, i'm calling on you now!
Recall:
Smoke Moster comprised of images of people's experiences or whatever (ie. Eko and Ben??!!)!
Yes? No? Anybody?
MiaVRO
Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 9:19:34 PM

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...
Looking at that Jaws thing again...
would probably step on some pretty big toes when it comes to the infringement of film rights...
Either that, or major moola will have to be paid out... looking at it from a technical point of view
Ah, screw it.
I like the idea :)
MUSEology
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 7:40:49 AM
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MiaVRO wrote:
...
Looking at that Jaws thing again...
would probably step on some pretty big toes when it comes to the infringement of film rights...
Either that, or major moola will have to be paid out... looking at it from a technical point of view
Ah, screw it.
I like the idea :)


My first post! (I'm so proud. : )

There may not have to be any infringement concerns at all. Yay!

As I understand it, the existing Fair Use policy in the US is pretty liberal when it comes to cases like this.

There is a four-factor test involved, and, though I am no jurist, I would think that TRST would pass each part of the balancing act with flying colours:

1.) Purpose and Character.

The key phrase here is "must stimulate creativity for the enrichment of the general public".

That is, if the new work doing the borrowing from an existing copyrighted work is not intentionally derivative -- if it is using the existing work in genuinely creative ways -- then that use is fair.

I think we can all agree that this is very true.

I mean, Benchley was a clever guy -- and don't you hate it when directors get all the credit for movies they didn't write? -- but he didn't throw a conceptual shark at anyone!

2.) Nature of the Copyrighted Work.

This criterion usually has more to do with non-fictional works, so it is of minor importance here.

However, it has been argued that, since the medium of film doesn't really allow for the insertion of 'quotation marks' in the same way as print, the borrowing of brief film clips cannot be as strictly controlled.

3.) Amount and Substantiality.

The shorter the length of the clips, the better...though it should be noted that "if the secondary user only borrows as much as is necessary for his or her intended use" such use will be deemed fair.

4.) Effect Upon Work's Value.

I know that I watched Jaws again immediately upon finishing TRST.

I imagine everyone did.

And I imagine that everyone who sees the movie will do so, too.

So, if anything, a few borrowed clips will increase the 'value' of Jaws.

* * *

God, how much do I want to see this movie?

A lot. A l-o-t. : )
YOUDOTHATVOODOO
Posted: Friday, May 8, 2009 10:18:06 PM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 5/8/2009
Posts: 2
Hello.

My name is Adrian and I'm a screenwriter. I just read The Raw Shark Texts and was blown away by it, and have blogged my thoughts on adapting it over at www.youdothatvoodoo.com -- apologies if I echo any sentiments already made in this thread, but I wanted to get my ideas down fresh without being influenced by anything posted here. Your thoughts, here or at my site, are very welcome.
Steven Hall
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 12:47:44 PM

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Hey Adrian,

Glad you enjoyed the book!
Thanks for sharing your adaptation thoughts too - I thought the idea of moving in and out of live action was really interesting.

S
timlarsson
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 1:07:58 PM

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I thought a little bit of the discussion about text-shark or not, and I think that maybe the concept of a shark could be made rather effectfully with movie-clips or pictures of the different parts, rather than text. so the parts that says eye has an eye, human, cat, shark? some sort of eye. and the fin parts should be made up out of fins, maybe or maybe not a shark fin... etc.

Hmm... well I don't know... I kind of like the idea of a text-shark as well.
heartbreak
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 4:35:14 PM
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Maybe if they used text from the script or that looks like a script. I'm not sure. I'm kind of on the fence about this now. I see how the text applies to the book more then the movie. Maybe a mix of both, the impression of the shark in the picture, but with the text sort of overlaying the sharks form. I think that the thing with the shark in the book is that it is traveling through the streams of consciousness and that by reading the book we are opening up ourselves to the attack. As much as I want to see progress on the movie, I hope they take a good long sit down to think these things through.
YOUDOTHATVOODOO
Posted: Saturday, May 9, 2009 11:46:01 PM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 5/8/2009
Posts: 2
Steven --

thanks for the welcome.

Check out my short film script Amigo, over at www.youdothatvoodoo.com, which has some of the same kind of playful qualities as The Raw Shark Textx.
Steven Hall
Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009 10:44:59 AM

Rank: Whale Shark
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Joined: 1/24/2009
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YOUDOTHATVOODOO wrote:
Steven --

thanks for the welcome.

Check out my short film script Amigo, over at www.youdothatvoodoo.com, which has some of the same kind of playful qualities as The Raw Shark Textx.



Will do!

S
angelita
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:40:23 AM
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I say this with all due respect... I think a Raw Shark Texts film would be a disaster. I haven't read a single post in this thread... so if there are any good ideas to the contrary, I admit, they are lost on me. I actually happened to think about this mid-way through the book. As I was thinking about what a great book it is... and thinking about how wonderfully descriptive it is... and thinking about the fact that it just HAD to be quite popular... my thoughts turned to... movie? Nah...

Part of what makes the book so very delicious is that it is left to the reader. Look at all the posters on here trying frantically to hash out what the hell happened!!! So many great theories... I feel more alive for putting my brain in overdrive for the last 24 hours!

So, A: the standard rule is that the movie is NEVER as good as the book!

B: a movie will surely kill many active imaginations and theories out there by answering questions... and will, in turn, cause a loss of interest. Yes, we say we want answers and we're oh-so-very frustrated at not having them... but aren't we having more fun making it up ourselves?

B.5: I too want some clues, by the way! (: I'm not above that!

C: and most importantly of all... there is NO way any justice can be done to this wonderful book in translating it to the visual. When we read our imaginations are running away with their own wild pictures... and it is fun and exciting... and REAL and captivating. When it is then plastered on a 2D screen I can only picture it as cheapened and FAKE. There's just NO WAY the pictures that we painted for ourselves in the book can adequately be painted in a film.
Steven Hall
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 11:22:51 AM

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angelita wrote:
a movie will surely kill many active imaginations and theories out there by answering questions... and will, in turn, cause a loss of interest. Yes, we say we want answers and we're oh-so-very frustrated at not having them... but aren't we having more fun making it up ourselves?


Hi Angelita, glad you enjoyed the book!

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

It's worth saying that whatever the film people decide to do, it will very much be a movie 'based upon The Raw Shark Texts'. The film will be a separate (and possibly quite different) entity and anything that happens or any answers that come up in the film will not be applicable to the book - the film is a different project written by different people. The film will hopefully be great, but it will not be TRST canon. Hope that helps!

S
purplefiggy
Posted: Friday, June 5, 2009 5:54:48 AM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 6/5/2009
Posts: 2
Location: Philadelphia PA
Hi all...new to the discussion, but a few thoughts strike me as I read this thread, especially after having loved Q&A years before seeing the film adaptation as Slumdog.

First, I really loved TRST. But as I recommended the book to others, I realized how this book is made for a certain kind of person - someone who is willing to work hard at understanding what is going on and someone extremely perceptive. And even people I thought would really get the book struggled with it. While conceptually appealing, this book (from my observations at least) isn't made for the masses...those who crave a formula that's easy to follow with a nice tidy ending wrapped in a shiny bow.

I see this movie going one of two ways - either staying very abstract and like the book, requiring lots of work on the part of the viewer and therefore being produced as an "indie" type film or being oversimplified in a "hatchet to forehead" way for the masses.

If made for commercial success (in that "hey cool concept, with lots of special effects I can make a killing on this movie") I think those who loved the book will struggle with the movie. If done well, I think it could be a pretty interesting movie, but I also don't think you can stay true to the book and be "commercially accepted."

Parallel Slumdog (at least for me personally.) Loved the book, and while I appreciate the movie, it was different enough where I was disappointed. Entertained but disappointed, as I think many purists would be. But since most people didn't even know it was a book prior to seeing the movie, it was able to stand on its own merits and do very well.

OTOH, if the movie (TRST) stays true to the book, I see it getting panned by the mass media but absolutely embraced by a small group - maybe becoming one of those indie cult movies. Most people won't get it, but I think that's what makes the book so wonderful. It isn't made for "most people."

Steven and all, if given the choice between the two scenarios, which do you take? A very different but commercially successful movie or an abstract but loyal adaptation of the movie that is rejected commercially but completely embraced by a small loyal audience.

Selfishly, I'd prefer the purist version. But I hope I'd be able to appreciate a commercial version for what it is if it comes to that. Because that's certainly what I expect. How well they do it is a whole separate discussion.

tiny monsters
Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:59:35 AM

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I am very skeptical and cold to the idea of the book being made into a film. It fucks with my whole -stream- while reading the novel. Its very abstract, stirring black hole-esque feelings inside me so it's hard for me to imagine a movie translating those effects. If nothing else, I can imagine Wes Anderson would do a good job of making it into a film (he did Life Aquatic) or possibly Christopher Nolan but in my heart I don't want this to be a commercialized movie. I see it as way more of a cult classic and want it to be just as weird and stirring as the novel, I really don't think thats possible with big-name actors and actresses.
MiaVRO
Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009 3:42:37 PM

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tiny monsters wrote:
...but in my heart I don't want this to be a commercialized movie. I see it as way more of a cult classic and want it to be just as weird and stirring as the novel, I really don't think thats possible with big-name actors and actresses.


I could not agree with you more!!
Aenima78
Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2009 4:04:20 PM
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Hello Everyone,

I am at this point just about 3/4 of the way through TRST and have to be careful when reading some of the posts. (whoa - spoiler coming up - skip to new thread!). Anyway - I had the urge to type in Steven's name into Google as the novel is just so all-consuming that the thought of being finished with it soon is truly depressing, and I'm hoping this forum can become a means to continue forays into Eric's world =)

Anyway - when I saw this thread about the movie adaptation - being the visual beings so many multimedia outlets and mediums have made us - its hard NOT to think about the movie in our heads as we read each line and form the scenes in our own imagination's theater. I don't know if it has been discussed or not - I didn't come across it in any of the posts - but has there been any mention of who would direct the film?? The only reason I bring up the topic is because certainly every director's vision of the script will be interpreted in their own style - and although there are directors who I think would be GREAT for a project like this (Fincher/Terry Gilliam - who much of this stuff would be very natural to/& many others), I CANNOT help but wonder what this film would be like in the hands of someone like Frenchman Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine/Science of Sleep/Be Kind, Rewind/ton of music videos). Gondry's extremley creative uses of special effects plus the humanity he gets across in even his most simple characters I think would just be an amazing combination with this story. In fact, alot of the content of TRST really reminds me of the content of "Eternal...". Anyway - curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on this - and Steven - I dont know if you had heard about any names etc possibly attached to the project as far as directors go.

Glad to find you all!

Steven Hall
Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 5:04:10 PM

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Joined: 1/24/2009
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Aenima78 wrote:
Hello Everyone,

I am at this point just about 3/4 of the way through TRST and have to be careful when reading some of the posts. (whoa - spoiler coming up - skip to new thread!). Anyway - I had the urge to type in Steven's name into Google as the novel is just so all-consuming that the thought of being finished with it soon is truly depressing, and I'm hoping this forum can become a means to continue forays into Eric's world =)

Anyway - when I saw this thread about the movie adaptation - being the visual beings so many multimedia outlets and mediums have made us - its hard NOT to think about the movie in our heads as we read each line and form the scenes in our own imagination's theater. I don't know if it has been discussed or not - I didn't come across it in any of the posts - but has there been any mention of who would direct the film?? The only reason I bring up the topic is because certainly every director's vision of the script will be interpreted in their own style - and although there are directors who I think would be GREAT for a project like this (Fincher/Terry Gilliam - who much of this stuff would be very natural to/& many others), I CANNOT help but wonder what this film would be like in the hands of someone like Frenchman Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine/Science of Sleep/Be Kind, Rewind/ton of music videos). Gondry's extremley creative uses of special effects plus the humanity he gets across in even his most simple characters I think would just be an amazing combination with this story. In fact, alot of the content of TRST really reminds me of the content of "Eternal...". Anyway - curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on this - and Steven - I dont know if you had heard about any names etc possibly attached to the project as far as directors go.

Glad to find you all!





Hi Aenima, thanks for your thoughts.

Michel Gondry would be great, wouldn't he? I'd love to see his version of Raw Shark. I'd love to see Darren Aronofsky's take too.

Sometimes I think it'd be amazing to have a library of all the versions that we could possibly end up with, Garden of Forking Paths style. I try not to think too much about it because, as I'm always saying, this isn't my project, but there are some amazing possibilities. I wonder what we'll end up with?

S



wmorris99
Posted: Friday, November 27, 2009 4:39:52 PM
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Joined: 11/27/2009
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How would I adapt TRST?

Carefully :)

But, there are a number of things that are vital:

It's a vivid world that's been painted on the page. It needs to be a film that captures the mood and character of the scenes. And the mood comes from the physical surroundings - a graffitti strewn underpass, abandoned buildings, a book maze, tunnels in un-space, each of them have textures and colours you can almost experience when reading. If the film is designed wrong it will look too polished or overly grungy. Not ultra-real, magical real or overly real, but really real. It needs to be like walking round a great museum (sometimes even being chased), but with being able to touch and feel everything.

The other thing is the unpredictability. Some people have said that this book reads like it was written to be adapted. They're a little bit simplistic. It's got approximately 3 acts - in the house, on the hunt and in the water - with flashbacks thrown in, and due to that they think it's like a 3 act structure in a film. But that's not quite the same as a film 3 act structure - if you transcribed it into a screenplay it wouldn't fit right. The other reason it's mistaken for a film is because it references films, again, maybe a bit simplistic. The bottom line is that, unlike a lot of modern films, it doesn't signpost where it's going next or just hit the plot points required to get to the next set-piece. I've seen enough predictable films, books, plays to be thrilled when something comes along that leads me on a journey that I can't imagine in advance. In the case of this book the unpredictability extends after the reading too - what just happened? And that's why it's exceptional.

So, what do I as a reader of TRST seek in a film adaptation? A vivid, unpredictable experience, like the best bits of the book, but with the enhancements that a visual telling of the story can bring.

Well, I can hope for the best, my motto is 'aim high' :)
Saskia
Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 9:17:28 AM
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Joined: 11/28/2009
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One of the cool things about the book is the feeling of being submerged in words, that everything is made of words and letters and ideas. Maybe a component of that in the film? Especially the shark - maybe it could be an animated word shark?

Also, the book does seem to lend itself to a voiceover style film although this has been done so many times... dunno.
0bs01337
Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009 1:39:35 AM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 10
Location: Suburbia
Read the following on Roger ebert's blog (Dan Schneider's take on the Hitchcock's Vertigo)

"Had the audience been left guessing about whether or not Judy was 'Madeline', it would have been far more effective. This would have truly pulled the viewer into Scottie's world--much more so than the visual razzle-dazzle Hitchcock uses to show Scottie recalling 'Madeline' when he kisses Judy. Of course, this is assuming we do suspend the disbelief that Judy could ever be such a perfect doppelganger for 'Madeline', without actually being her. Once the audience knows that Scottie knows what we do, that he is correct about Judy's role in his fate, there is no dramatic tension, in the thriller sense, and we can only be left to guess how Judy will get her comeuppance- be it by death or the law."

I'm not as up on hitchcock's work as I ought to be, but this seems like an interesting lead in for those better aquainted. Do the two (four?) women play similar roles in vertigo/ TRST? What choices made in vertigo would've been enhanced had they left things ambigious? If things go non-ambigious in the TRST movie is there anything about vertigo that helped enhance things?

And @steven did vertigo supply any inspiration or is this just coincidence?
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