The Art of Adaption

“Hansel and Gretel”, artwork by Niko Geyer.
“Hansel and Gretel”, artwork by Niko Geyer.

Adaption is not a new process. Humans have been adapting texts from different forms for thousands of years: it is the process of creating paintings, and visual art based on histories and spoken legends; it is the translation of poetry into prose; of the stage to the screen; and of course it is the novel or similar literary source into television and film. While the process may not be new, it is still an area of great contention, as when content undergoes adaption it becomes subject to a variety of factors that will affect the resulting production. These forces may range from issues related to the nature of the source text, or the actual reason for the adaption, even the particular medium and market will play a role in influencing the outcome. The most distinct example of this is in the adaption of a large text, such as a novel, full of nuance and internal character development, which must undergo a process of compression to fit single film format.

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