Different mediums of production have different purposes, audiences and techniques available to them, creating a different impression of a story. The visual and audio elements of the film medium have the capacity to convey many pages of written description in a single moment, but in order to compress several hundred pages into under two hours sacrifices must be made. Effective movements and modes of speech in the written medium may be ineffectual on screen, and in the process of adaptation the story must be changed to create the appropriate image. In William Goldman's novel The Princess Bride and the film by the same name, we can see how changing mediums, audiences and perspectives alter the lingual and visual techniques used, and the subsequent change in the form and effect of the story.
The common element in both book and film versions of the story is the use of satire, making fun of the fairytale genre. However, whereas in the books the framing is the most important satirical device, in the film the visual effects impossible in the written medium take precedence. In the novel, the ╦ťomission' of pages of information describing thoroughly irrelevant things mocks the extensive use of description and tangents in stories, but ironically this information in itself is omitted for the film. For the film, the story is removed from its context as an abridged novel to become a satirical story in its own right, with the removal of the mocking voice of the composer. Subsequently, the writerly form of the novel, drawing the responder in through use of rhetoric and exaggeration, is replaces by a more readerly text when adapted to the film medium, with the responders observing rather than experiencing the story.
Appearances are one of the most influential satirical devices in both book and film; however this is approached very differently in each medium. In the written text, the use of description is important, the appearan... Continue Reading