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Activities
(for individual work or group assignments)

I. Do your own comparison of "The Cracker Man" in printed and filmed versions.

  1. What similarities are not discussed in "Fireworks - Verbal and Visual"?

  2. What differences are not noted in the essay?

II. Read a story that has been turned into a one-hour film and view the filmed version.

Good possibilities:
"A & P" by John Updike
"Barn Burning" by William Faulkner
"The Sky Is Gray" by Ernest J. Gaines
"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty

1. Compare the two versions of the story and discuss the significance of these differences:
significant changes from the story to the film?
omissions from the film?
additions to the film?
2. Discuss the strengths of the filmed version.

3. Discuss the weaknesses of the filmed version.

4. What would you have done differently if you were responsible for filming this story?

III. Do a comparison of a story that has been turned into a full-length film.
Good possibilities:

Jane Austen, Persuasion
Pride and Prejudice
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (3 versions)
Ernest J. Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
A Gathering of Old Men
A Lesson before Dying
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Herman Melville, Moby Dick (several versions)

IV. Analyze the stories studied this term for possible adaptation to film. Considering demands of setting, plot structure, visual possibilities, and number of characters, select the one that will adapt most effectively and remain faithful to the original story.

1. Apply the "Hollywood guidelines" to your story: after you have read the story, what remains with you the next day that you need to keep in your adaptation?

2. Write a proposal justifying your selection.

3. Summarize the plot of the story in the three-act structure of introduction, complication and climax, and resolution.

3. Develop a casting list for the number of characters, and describe the actors or actresses needed to play the roles: age, looks, characteristics, abilities (sing, play an instrument, handle animals, whatever).

4. Assume an ideal world (in which money and scheduling availability are not problems), and cast the roles with known actors and actresses, providing arguments for your selections.)

5. Write the script for the opening scene, providing the exposition of character, plot, and setting needed to introduce the story.


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