Thursday, March 1, 2007


On the drawing table.

New artwork. Charcoal & pencil,... which will eventually be glazed and colored with oils. Same technique that was used for the original artwork from the graphic novel. Having reviewed the assembly edit, there are a few scenes that need to be shuffled or extended. This is for one of those scenes.

A few posts ago I said the From Inside film is a panel-for-panel adaptation of the graphic novel. Maybe that was an exaggeration. No... wait... it wasn't. The film is a plot-point for plot-point adaptation of the graphic novel.

In moving from printed page to film, though, some things have changed. A little. Some of the scenes from the book have been expanded in order to keep the film moving. For example, an entire scene from the book may have been a double page spread with text boxes spread over it. This works fine in a comic book, but in translating a scene such as this to film, I would add shots. Adding shots here and there has been necessary to make the film visually more exciting than staring at a single image with voice-over for two minutes. (Although... there is one scene like that...)

The biggest change I've noticed in moving the story from page to film is in the dialog. Film works best when it shows instead of tells. Comic books, however, can show and tell. For example, there is a scene in the From Inside graphic novel where the train has stopped for rain. In the comic book, the panels show the train stopped, passengers standing around in the rain, and the rain hitting the ground. The narrator's dialog reads something like: "The train has stopped for the danger of a wash-out. People are standing in the rain. They are getting wet. The rain is thick and brown, like mud falling from the sky. I listen to the rain tapping on the roof of the passenger car." The text in the comic helps give voice and character to the narrator, and it makes the reader pause on each panel. In comics, words help control the sense of time for a reader, and they describe things that a printed still image can't convey: sounds, textures, etc...

If that same dialog were used in the film, it would be terribly redundant. In the example above, the film - using time, motion, sound effects and music - conveys almost everything that was carried by text in the book.

So, in many instances, the dialog from the comic has been changed... or simply cut.