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How come a book has more detail than its corresponding movie

  1. Sep 22, 2015 #1
    When a book is made into a movie, the book usually has more detail than its movie. However, we say that a picture is worth a thousand words. How is that a movie is not able to convey everything that is present in the book? I often see movies removing a lot of detail than its corresponding novels and still be very long.

    Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2015 #2


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    The picture conveys information about the visuals that would take a lot of writing to describe well. The missing details in movies are plot points and storylines that may take longer to convey onscreen than is practical.
  4. Sep 22, 2015 #3


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    Try to make this single paragraph into the movie.

  5. Sep 22, 2015 #4
    I think this is related to people saying that they liked a book better than the movie. The book can conjure up images in a persons mind that the movie can't compete with. People always think there own version is best. Movies also have time constraints. The movie can't include a picture of every detail that a the reader sees in his minds eye.
  6. Sep 22, 2015 #5
    Most people cannot read an average novel in 2 hours the typical length of movie. In a novel we can stop and reflect on a passage as long as we like but not in a movie. If a reflection if necessary in a movie it eats up time as it dwells on the scene which must be later taken from some other part of the story.
  7. Sep 22, 2015 #6


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    Besides time constraints, a movie and a book are vastly different art forms.

    The book relies on the reader's imagination to visualize whatever action is occurring. The movie can dispense with this by having the actors re-create whatever action is necessary to tell the story.

    In a book, the author can explain the reasons behind a character's actions or motivations, while the film cannot do so without becoming a lecture.

    The author of the book must also describe the setting where the story takes place, which takes up a lot of words, where the film maker can film the movie in an actual location or use special effects instead of words.
  8. Sep 22, 2015 #7


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    I need 852 more words before I can make a single still frame according to the given formula...
  9. Sep 25, 2015 #8


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    Being one of those ancients that actually lived before television, I can attest that also applied to listening on the radio to Batman, The Green Hornet, The Shadow and several other long in the past series as opposed to seeing them at the movies. The radio broadcasts were time restrained, just like TV and movies, but all were weekly serial shows. Of course, as opposed to books, there wasn't much character insight given in those shows for the same reason so you were free to develop those as well. One definite advantage the weekly serializations had over books was they helped you develop your memory and focus at an early age, ie. just try to remember through the next 7 days, 4 to 5 simultanous story lines.
  10. Oct 2, 2015 #9

    Buzz Bloom

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    In a book, settings are described in paragraphs which take longer to read than the corresponding pictures movies present. Also, quite a bit of a book's details in paragraphs are about thoughts and feelings. In a movie, these are generally quickly portrayed by an actor's facial expressions and body language. Thirdly, scenes are frequently cut entirely because there are practical length limits for most profitable movies.
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