“I looked at the vase,” she said, looking at the vase (voiceovers in adaptations)

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Dorothy McQuaid
Showrunner for Pycera/Social Media for BWP
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Voiceovers in TV and movies are, as Rebecca wrote in her Outlander post on Monday, a great way to transition a first-person story to the screen. I think they are especially relevant in books adapted to movie or TV because people who have read the books know more about the characters than people who only watch the movie or TV show. However, I think some adaptations pull this off better than others: some movies/shows use too many voiceovers, explaining the scenes when they’re already obvious, and some use too few, leaving viewers to wonder what the characters’ motivations are. In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the two ends of the spectrum.

This post will contain spoilers for the book and TV versions of Outlander and book and movie versions of The Hunger Games.

Spoiler-warning

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In Defense of “Filmamir”

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
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If you happened to read my previous post, “In the Shadow of ‘The Ring’,” you know I’m not the biggest fan of Tolkien. And, if you haven’t read that then, well, now you know: Tolkien and I don’t get along. But Peter Jackson and I? We have a much better relationship. Sure, his films can be overlong and easily criticized as “indulgent,” but there’s no denying he did something amazing with his film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. In a time when fantasy was not selling well onscreen, Jackson undertook what could be lotrtwotowersconsidered one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects in the history of the business, to craft what would ultimately become both a critically and commercially successful fantasy film trilogy. With an overall budget somewhere around $300-million, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy grossed a grand total of almost $3-billion which, when unadjusted for inflation, makes it the bestselling film trilogy of all time. Not only that, the films walked away with a combined 17 Academy Awards; the third film, The Return of the King, currently sits in a 3-way tie with Ben-Hur and Titanic for most awards won for a single film.

But on a more personal note, Jackson made me actually enjoy Tolkien’s trilogy. Shocking, I know. But, as with any adaptation — especially of something perceived as a “classic” — there have been many controversies over the various adaptive changes from books to films within Jackson’s cinematic trilogy. One in particular even garnered its own, ire-filled name amongst purist detractors: “Filmamir.”

“Filmamir” — or, the film version of Faramir — as portrayed by actor David Wenham, represents one of Jackson’s greatest deviations from the source material: a combination of imagination and a need to balance the pacing of the storytelling within the cinematic trilogy. Faramir’s storyline, therefore, especially within the Two Towers film, is largely the invention of Jackson and the three other screenwriters.

And, quite frankly, not only do I like the change, but I think it improves upon the original material.

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One-Winged Trainwreck

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

 

“I hope that this project may lead to something, since we woke up something that was sleeping.” (Tetsuo Nomura on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children)

Full disclosure: I’m not a gamer.

The extent of my electronic gaming can be summed up by The Sims 2, Kingdom Hearts I & II, Assassin’s Creed II, and scattered Gameboy games that were mostly Mario-related. And even then, most of the non-Sims games were being played in conjunction with my younger brother, so I did very little actual playing. In the end, video games are just not my forte and I don’t necessarily enjoy playing them, so I leave it to those who do.

However, I will say that I do often enjoy the stories that are told in games, especially those in the Final Fantasy franchise from Square Enix — specifically, I find the entire urban-fantasy world of Final Fantasy VII incredibly interesting. But I didn’t come about it in the “traditional” sense, i.e. I didn’t, and still haven’t ever actually played the game. I haven’t even played its two major spinoffs, Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus. No, I came to Final Fantasy VII through its full-length computer-animated feature adaptation/sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

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