Monday’s Musings -Red Light Good, Green Light Bad

We all fear the dreaded book to movie adaptation. There has been a lot of chatter about the on again off again relationship between City of Bones and Hollywood. Honestly for me the possible shelving of this project by the current filmmakers was not a bad thing. This is partially due to the casting. I despise the casting so far for either of the lead characters and am very disappointed in the whole Twilight strategy in finding a male lead.

My biggest disappointment though is the commitment of the studio. Not only have they been dragging their feet they seem to be doing it because of the hefty budget the adaptation would require. I know it’s a business but if you read the book, you have to know the kind of visuals that the world Cassandra Clare imagined isn’t going to be cheap. Werewolves, vampires, fey, and demons don’t come with a discount at the CGI studio, so if you’re not committed to doing it right they shouldn’t have taken CoB on. But the movie industry is competitive and with similar blockbusters comes the feeding frenzy of buying rights then sitting on them so no one else can develop the book, while the studio waits to see if YA urban fantasy is just a passing trend.

It’s disheartening to someone like me who really loves movies and filmmaking to hear about the reluctance of studios to make visually demanding films because of the success of features like Paranormal Activity. The cost to make a movie like PA compared to the box office gross makes sense but do we really want to see them flood the market? It’s scary to think that our theaters could see the same low budget lazy fair as network television has become with one reality show after another. Not that I don’t watch my share but there’s really nothing like an awesome drama or comedy shot in film, scripted, and acted out by the professionals. While the television industry reels from the surprise success of Hatfields & McCoys, I see it as an audience starved for variety and quality television. I also consider the cancellation of a Hollows series on the CW as a win for fans and the author. As posted on Your Urban Fantasy, the cost of effects, some key character changes and the total elimination of Jenks (???) are the reasons for the show’s demise. Again anyone who reads the books can imagine the amount of effects the story would need. Plus it’s not like Jenks is some surprise character or element that pops up one day during filming like the sexual orientation of Dumbledore. So while one door closes hopefully another will open for Kim Harrison in the form of someone who gets it and wants to do it right.

Personally I’ll never understand the appeal of shaky amateur camera work with the crap look of non professional film stock. I literally got motion sickness watching movies like Chronicle but to each their own. I know some fans won’t mind what Hollywood will do to CoB just as long as it gets made. Even a bad adaptation can be a success, after all Twilight was a phenomenon regardless of the horrible cringe worthy effects, makeup, casting, and added plot lines. Of course with the critical and box office hit The Hunger Games has become City of Bones is back on again with a larger studio backing it and the same unfortunate casting choices. Lets hope they’re right and I’m wrong about Jace and Clary and that the studio is more interesting in making a great movie that will have the fans lining up for second and third viewings than finding a away to get by and cut corners to ensure a huge profit.

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