The Cost of Creativity: Paper to Screen

Nothing is better than when two great minds come together and collaborate with their ideas. However, when a film adaption of a book is released, it can be a difficult time to make sure both that audiences are pleased with the results. No two people look at one thing the same way, everyone has their own style/opinions. A book and a film that is based on it are never made perfectly the same; there are always new things added or certain things that are left/taken out (which tend to lead to controversy). Two different perspectives are shared: the storyteller’s and the one directing that story. It is ultimately the audience’s decision that decides on which individual’s work is better.

Change is an important concept used in the creative industry. Writers and directors constantly make changes to their work. Using ideas that are old/new to us is all still a part of the writing/filming process, “Creativity is a process of generating something new by combining elements that already exist” (Page 3), as written in the introduction of “Creative Industries: A Typology for Change” by Candace Jones, Mark Lorenzen, and Jonathan Sapsed.

If a film is popular but created quite some time ago, then one is likely to see a remake. In my opinion, remakes help keep a film fresh. It gives a director another chance at putting their ideas into a work already created and established. It also leads a whole new creative process (better technology, adding/deleting scenes, etc.). For example, “Who Goes There”, an original book by John Campbell sees three different film adaptions (“The Thing from Another World” [1951], “The Thing” [1982], and “The Thing” [2011]). As the films become newer, viewers see the change from practical to more CGI effects. They prove that the process of creativity is constantly changes throughout time, sparking new ideas and reutilizing old ones as well.

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Adaptions of stories to the big screen do not always go the smoothest. For example, writer Stephen King has had a controversial past when it comes to a director retelling his stories. After director Stanley’s Kubrick’s movie iteration of his classic “The Shining”, King publicly showed his dislike for the film, calling it the film “very cold” and referring his own book as “hot”. He still believed that is a “beautiful film” but was not done in the way it was envisioned in the book.

Overall, I like to view film adaptations as a prime example of how two individuals’ ideas on the same subject can still produce very different outcomes. At the end of the day, it is up to whoever is observing the film/book to decide which on that they prefer.


“Chapter 1: Introduction.” Creative Industries: A Typology for Change, by Candace Jones et al., Candace Jones, Mark Lorenzen, Jonathan Sapsed, 2015, pp. 3–3.

Lion, Proud. “The Watcher – John Carpenter’s The Thing.” The Lion’s Share, 1 Jan. 1970,

Jagernauth, Kevin. “Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ Is ‘Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It.’” IndieWire, 3 Feb. 2016,

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