I don’t like to mix my books with my movies.
It all started when I was a child and I watched a really horrible version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe that we had been given for Christmas one year.
I was eager to watch a favourite book of mine come to life in front of me and horrified when I realized that the shoddy sets and poor casting was changing the magical world that I had already created in my own imagination. Needless to say, I did not finish watching that movie, and I never again approached a book to film adaptation without seriously considering the ramifications.
While I still stubbornly refuse to watch the Twilight movies or The Hunger Game movies or the Harry Potter movies (despite the fact that being immersed in culture has ensured that I will forever imagine HP as Daniel Radcliffe from this point on), I have thoroughly enjoyed The Lord of the Rings movies and the newer adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m not exclusive, but I am selective.
The newest book to movie adaptation hitting the big screens is The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve read the book twice (my review is linked in the book title) and I admittedly follow the author around the interwebs a bit. I watched the Vlog Brothers You Tube channel long before I read TFIOS (The Fault in Our Stars) and, as I’m sure you know, when you follow someone on the Internet, you kind of start to feel like you know them. So when John Green started sharing that there was a TFIOS movie in the works and that it was going to be awesome, I started considering whether it would be one of those select movies that I would actually end up watching.
I became officially convinced during the phone call I had with author John Green.
I was asked to be one of 10 bloggers who would participate in a phone interview with John Green in anticipation of the movie’s release. While this is not something I normally agree to, I kind of loved the idea of speaking to someone that I see on my computer quite often. The bloggers were instructed to restrict our questions to the subject of the book to movie process, whichw as understandable. As a parent blogger, I was kind of hoping to ask John Green about how he made time to write novels while being a Dad to a baby and a preschooler, or how being on set often (in a different state) affected his family life, but I came up with 10 questions about the book to movie process (which was good, because I was called on ninth to ask my question and my top few had definitely already been asked).
What became abundantly clear on the phone call was that John Green loves this movie. This isn’t his baby. He didn’t write the screenplay or cast the characters. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted TFIOS to be turned into a movie at first. But he watched the process as the author of the story and witnessed how genuinely the film makers wanted to stay true to it. John Green assured us a number of times that as the author, he did not have to take part in the marketing campaign for the movie. He was doing it because he genuinely thinks it is a great movie that stays true to his book.
He was on set throughout most of the filming. When I asked him what his role was on set, he told me that he didn’t really have a role but he took on the role of being “professionally excited”.
I didn’t have a role. But, I think it’s nice to have somebody on a movie set who’s not doing anything, because everyone else is so busy and they’re working so hard and they’re talking about, “Did we get this coverage or that coverage,” and, “Did we get it this way? Did we get it that way? Did the light change?” And I could just be like, “Hey, everybody, hold on for a second. This is awesome. Let’s take a step back and realize how ridiculously awesome this is.”
…So, I was professionally excited on the set. And it’s such a crazy thing, because to be honest with you I always thought of movies as a kind of dilution, that when all these collaborators come in, the thing inevitably weakens and softens. And I think that’s often the case. But, what I found is that, when people come in and they’re passionate and they really care about the story, it can add to it. It can bring new things to it. So, every day it just felt wonderful on the set. It really did. I mean, I just felt like I was being given such a tremendous gift just to be able to be there and watch them make this movie, make it so carefully and thoughtfully.
Hearing John (can I call him John?) say this pretty much gave me the warm fuzzies and ensured that I will be seeing the movie, and not despite the fact that it is based on a book, but because it is.
The Fault in Our Stars movie, by Twentieth Century Fox, is in theatres on June 6th.
Will you be seeing The Fault in Our Stars? What do you think about movies that are based on books? Does this mean that John and I are best friends now?
Check out the other bloggers who were on the call with John and me:
Judy Berna from GeekMom.com
Laura Fanklin from BetterInBulk.net
Katie from Mundie Moms
Stacey Nerdin from TreeRootandTwig.com
Sara Pitre from ForeverYoungAdult.com
Jamie Bennett from PerpetualPageTurner
Sara Gundell from NovelNovice.com
Amanda Donovan from 5MinutesForMom.com
Holly Rosen from TheCultureTripper