Screenwriter Derek Haas on the Three Things You Can Do in a Novel But Not Onscreen
Derek Haas is a writer of movies (3:10 to Yuma, Wanted), creator of TV series (Chicago Fire), and acclaimed novelist (the just-released The Right Hand). In this exclusive guest post for the Amazon Studios Hollywonk blog, Haas explores the ways in which storytelling varies by form:
I was once asked: what are three things you can do in a book that you can’t do in a movie or TV series? An interesting question… a. because why three? Why not 5 or 7 or 1? And b. because there actually are three main things you can do in a novel you can’t do in a movie or TV series. How did my interviewer know the exact number to ask? Anyway, here are my answers.
First, you don’t have to worry about a budget. At all. If you want to write that the main character drives a motorcycle through the biggest earthquake ever to strike Los Angeles, have at it. If you want to have characters jumping from Russia to Prague to London to Washington DC to LA, no one is going to stop you. If you want five-hundred assassins attacking the Olympic Opening Ceremonies … all you have to do is put it down on paper. Of course, you can’t do that in a movie script or you’ll give the President of Production at the studio a heart attack. Unless you have Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp in the movie together, then you can do anything.
Second, you get to move inside the heads of your characters.
See the rest of his answer here.