Frontlist | Vikramaditya Motwane, Sudhir Mishra discuss book-to-screen adaptations at Jaipur Lit Fest
During a virtual session on Evolving Narratives: The Digital Dreamscape at the Jaipur Literature Festival, filmmakers Sudhir Mishra and Vikramaditya Motwane, author Vikram Chandra, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) member Vani Tripathi Tikoo and Vice President, Content of an OTT platform Monika Shergill discussed how more books are being adapted into films and series now. Due to the flexibility of digital platforms, directors have an option to tell the story in the format (films/series/shorts) they think better suits the book.
It is not as much about directors as it is about writers and actors
Discussing how writers are finally getting their due with books being adapted into series, films or short films, and how streaming platforms are allowing creators to tell these stories, Vikramaditya Motwane said, “If Sacred Games had to be made into a two-hour film (instead of a series) we would have lost so many lovely characters, who became fan favourites. I think the format allowed us to really have fun with that. It was the moment for authors, and I learned pretty early while directing it that it was not so much about the director here even though you are crucial in a sense, but it is about the writers and actors. I think that today, formats are flexible and people can choose in which format- series or movies or short movies they want to tell the story.”
Vikram Chandra, who wrote the book Sacred Games shared why books can’t be literally translated for the screen, which is something authors need to understand. He said, “When these guys first told me about the draft of the pilot it was actually pretty late in the process. I thought, ‘What the hell?’, because the structure necessarily has to change, the characters have to change (for screen). Dhakka laga tha for like 10 minutes. But when I thought about it, I started to see the logic in it. You can’t have a detective think in a cinematic way for 40 pages, which can happen in a book. You have to get the thing moving. It was wonderful and surreal because I lived with these characters for decades.”Giving examples of films and series such as The White Tiger, Serious Men, Bridgerton and Mismatched, Monika Shergill said that a lot of books are being adapted for the screen. She said, “Two out of three viewers of Sacred Games were actually out of India. That is the power of the story of a book originating from one corner of the world and then suddenly blowing up and travelling across. I think for streaming platforms to come and look at literature to find stories is really exciting now.”
Source: Times of India