Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free Advice #1

I know I should charge for it, but what the heck - here's some free advice to anyone who may be working on a screenplay adaptation of C.S. Lewis' A Horse And His Boy:

Please, oh please, start the movie during the "race" where Bree & Shasta meet Hwin & Aravis.

It doesn't seem obvious, I know, but hear me out:
  • It gets the action going right away, with someone riding on a talking horse that's being chased by lions. Everything gets explained in short order to the audience.
  • It dispenses with problems associated with time - Bree & Shasta were supposedly traveling for weeks before this occurred.
  • It allows you to hear the backstory from the main character's mouths - Aravis tells their story (with Hwin interrupting) and Bree tells their story (with Shasta interrupting) in a more concise & direct (though still poetic) manner. In short, character development is so much easier.
  • It wouldn't drag down the whole movie. That could take all of 20 minutes, and then you've still got plenty of time for all of Tashbaan, the ride north, the hermit, the trip to Narnia, and the battle at Anvard. If you were start linearly and track the story from the beginning, it would take forever. Or, in an effort to be shorter, would be made more terrible (for how to make an adaptation terrible, please see Prince Caspian. Actually, don't torture yourself like that).