Paper Towns, Adaptation and Creative Control

I recently had the pleasure of seeing the film adaptation of Paper Towns in theaters- I rather enjoyed it, but some changes had to be made from its source material in order for the movie to work- embedded below is a video I created about what changes were made and which I believe work best.

I still do wonder how much creative control an author should have when it comes to adaptations of their work. A while back, I got to ask John Green, the author of Paper Towns, what he thought about creative control. What he told me, essentially, is that he thinks that authors shouldn’t have veto control- that while they should be consulted regarding their work, but ultimately creative control belongs in the hands of the people who are adapting the work to the new medium.
This is much like what Mr. Gaiman told me a while back on the Diane Rehm show (if you have a chance, give the show a listen, it’s fantastic).

Essentially, it seems that if you’d like to see your work adapted- faithfully- to the screen, it’s necessary to find directors who will maintain your themes and concepts and such. But what happens when somebody manages to get their hands on your work and utterly ruins it? This happens- the example I think of is what happened with the Sci-Fi Channel adaptation of Earthsea– Ursula K. Le Guin’s famous fantasy was butchered and whitewashed for television. What happened with Earthsea, I think, is a warning to anybody who’s considering having their work adapted for another medium. Essentially, it’s important to work with people who you’re sure won’t ruin your work- maybe people whose work you’re familiar with and appreciate.

So, I’ve been hard at work writing and such- I’ll be honest, I’ve not made a whole lot of progress on the Me Squared spinoff. Yes, it’s still in progress, it’s just going… Slow. But it’ll be written, rest assured! I’ve been very busy running a weekly game news show, interviewing cool game developers, and working hard on some other stuff. Did I mention? My show runs on television! That’s right folks, the Blackman ‘N Robin Game News Update is on TV every week on 9 Bit, a VOD channel in Atlanta, Georgia that runs on Comcast. If you happen to live out there, check it out.

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