Producers and audiences are hungrier than ever for stories, and a lot of those stories begin life as a book--but how exactly do you transfer a story from the page to the screen? Do adaptations use the same creative gears as original screenplays? Does a true story give a project more weight than a fictional one? Is it helpful to have the original author's input on the script? And how much pressure is the screenwriter under, knowing they won't be able to please everyone with the finished product? Alistair Owen puts all these questions and many more to some of the top names in screenwriting, including Hossein Amini (Drive), Jeremy Brock (The Last King of Scotland), Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl), Andrew Davies (War & Peace), Christopher Hampton (Atonement), David Hare (The Hours), Olivia Hetreed (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Nick Hornby (An Education), Deborah Moggach (Pride & Prejudice), David Nicholls (Patrick Melrose) and Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None). Exploring fiction and nonfiction projects, contemporary and classic books, films and TV series, this book reveals the challenges and pleasures of reimagining stories for cinema and television, and provides a frank and fascinating masterclass with the writers who have done it--and have the awards and acclaim to show for it.
Alistair Owen is the author of Smoking in Bed: Conversations with Bruce Robinson (one of David Hare's Books of the Year in the Guardian) and Story and Character: Interviews with British Screenwriters. He has chaired events at the Hay Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and London Screenwriters' Festival. Alistair has written original and adapted screenplays, on spec and to commission; and contributed film reviews to Time Out and film book reviews to the Independent on Sunday;.