Friday, April 3, 2015

The Director's Treatment | Code Name Verity Screenplay (1)

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! To what will be a 7 day series on Loving the Language of Literacy surrounding Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and the insanity known as Sofia-wants-to-get-a good-grade-so-she's-going-to-work-her-butt-off-writing-a-25-page-screenplay. From Sunday (5) to Friday (10) there will be a new scene from my Code Name Verity screenplay. After realizing how much time it would take me to accomplish a longer screenplay, I set about picking some of my favorite inciting scenes in the book, and write a screenplay portraying how I would like it on the big screen.

Scenes (In Chronological Order)

But first, Let's have a backstory!

My lovely English teacher collaborated with my Social Studies one as we were studying World War II. The task was to pick a book (from a selection of around 10, ranging from Middle Grade to Adult Memoirs) that took place in World War II, then devise our own project based off of some element or lesson we learned from it. Among those were books like Devil's Arithmetic, Unbroken, The Book Thief, and of course, Code Name Verity. Originally, I wanted to read The Book Thief, but due to the time with which we had the complete the books (2 weeks), I thought I would choose something a tad simpler if I wanted to get in other pleasure reading. 

I've heard so much hype and good things about Code Name Verity around the Blogosphere and BookTube Community that I knew it would be a good choice. Little did I know how much I was in for. Code Name Verity is one of those books that you just CAN'T give a rating to no matter how hard you try because of how emotionally impacting it was, how brilliantly the author weaved together all the seemingly pointless threads, how character-driven of a story it was, and how freaking boring it was in the first 200 pages that made me want to DNF the book. [Code Name Verity | BookTalk]

After I finished reading and rambling about Code Name Verity, there was still the matter of me coming up with a project. I had procrastinated and was still clueless as to what I wanted to accomplish, and due to the nature of the assignment, my English teacher was absolutely NO help. Originally, I came up with the idea of doing a Book Trailer, but that idea quickly fell apart because I cannot act to save my life. I think a rock has more talent than I do, it's not pretty. Then I stumbled across the idea of doing a Screenplay. It was the perfect solution! I love film, I had just completed a 10 week course on Dramatic Writing, and I would not have to show my face on camera - a win/win situation. 

Little did I know how much work it would actually be to write a Screenplay, especially with the correct format. If you haven't read the book, you may not know this, but Code Name Verity is extremely complex and would be a challenge for any director/producer/screenwriter trio because of the mystery, the massive info-dumps, and next-to-no dialogue during the entire novel. Because of this, I wrote and arranged the screenplay in the order of events I felt should be presented if I were the one to be creating this movie. Consequently, there will be spoilers. 

Screenwriter’s Direction: Excess actions such as camera angles, character tones, scene settings are used in this screenplay to give an average reader a broader perspective versus a seasoned actor.

Director’s Treatment: Code Name Verity is a brilliantly crafted work of fiction for young adult readers, but it has been previously seen as a challenge by screenwriters considering its sometimes erratic jumping between various times, locations, and perspectives. The incessant internal narration, which is seen as beneficial in the original medium, proves particularly difficult when one attempts to convey the author’s message without dead time. The large quantities of information and absence of dialogue prove to be demanding as well. Therefore the screenwriter has rearranged the order of events to better translate it to this different medium.

Named Characters

Verity - Allied Scottish operative that gest caught by the gestapo and thrown into jail who is forced to regale her life

Maddie - Allied British airplane pilot and Verity’s best friend.

Amadeus von Linden - Head of gestapo that tortures Verity.

Fraulein Engel - German/English/French speaker helping the gestapo whose primary job becomes translating Verity’s daily writings.

Georgia Penn - American working with the Allies that interviews Verity in order t get information about her well-being.

So hang on for the ride that will be the upcoming week on Loving the Language of Literacy full of behind-the-scenes information pertaining to my thought process as I tackle the adaptation of one of the complex Young Adult Novels of the 21st century

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