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RE: [mythsoc] Digest Number 1169

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  • Liz Milner
    Re: Two Towers In a previous post Ernest Tomlinson wrote, ... To indulge in some paraphrasing myself, in screenwriting classes you have the following rule
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2003
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      Re: Two Towers

      In a previous post Ernest Tomlinson wrote,
      > > I wonder why so much of Tolkien's dialogue was replaced with clumsy,
      > > ham-handed periphrasis. I think, perhaps, that Hollywood[*]
      > screenwriters
      > > given the task of adapting a famous work of literature to the screen...

      To indulge in some paraphrasing myself, in screenwriting classes you have
      the following rule bludgeoned into your brain, "Two lines good, six lines
      bad." And in a professional script, a "line" is indented about an inch to
      the left of a one inch margin. This means that you have to be very
      economical with words. This rule works great for action adventure films but
      can wreak havoc in other genres. A good screenwriter learns to use action
      and judicious word choices to preserve the author's intentions and voice.
      Your not-so-good screenwriter adds a horse-snogging scene to fill in the gap
      where the heart of the story got surgically removed. As far as a good
      adaptation goes, I have always been amazed at how much of Sir Thomas More's
      actual words were preserved in the film of "A Man for All Seasons." And he
      was an incredibly wordy guy!

      -Liz Milner
      lizmilner@...
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