1st Edition

Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling

By Alexis Krasilovsky Copyright 2018
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling is the Second Place Winner in the 2019 International Writers Awards!

    A vast majority of Academy Award-winning Best Pictures, television movies of the week, and mini-series are adaptations, watched by millions of people globally. Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling examines the technical methods of adapting novels, short stories, plays, life stories, magazine articles, blogs, comic books, graphic novels and videogames from one medium to another, focusing on the screenplay. Written in a clear and succinct style, perfect for intermediate and advanced screenwriting students, Great Adaptations explores topics essential to fully appreciating the creative, historical and sociological aspects of the adaptation process. It also provides up-to-date, practical advice on the legalities of acquiring rights and optioning and selling adaptations, and is inclusive of a diverse variety of perspectives that will inspire and challenge students and screenwriters alike.

    Please follow the link below to a short excerpt from an interview with Carole Dean about Great Adaptations:





    1 Creative Issues

    2 Career Issues

    3 The Ethics and Aesthetics of Adaptation


    4 Plot

    5 Setting

    7 Dialogue

    8 Structure: Heroes and Heroines – Where Are We Going?


    9 The Process


    10 Fairy Tale Factors: From Spindle to Kindle

    11 The Beasts: From Cocteau to Cable


    12 Stories without Borders

    13 Regional vs. International Perspectives


    14 Love and Romance Adaptations


    15 From Ancient Greece to Hollywood and Nollywood

    16 Chunhyang, Orpheus and Other Myths

    17 Keeping It Literary in China


    18 Timing the Times:

    19 Alternative Focus Topics for the Story of Malcolm X


    20 Retelling, Limited


    21 Future Adaptations

    Selected Bibliography



    Alexis Krasilovsky is professor of Screenwriting and Media Theory and Criticism at California State University Northridge, teaching courses in Screenplay Adaptation and Film as Literature. Krasilovsky is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West, and was the writer/director of the award-winning global documentaries Women Behind the Camera (2007) and Let Them Eat Cake (2014). She is also the author of Women Behind the Camera: Conversations with Camerawomen (1997), and co-author of Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World (2015). Krasilovsky’s narrative film, Blood (1976), was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times as "in its stream-of-consciousness way, more powerful than Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver."

    Visit Alexis Krasilovsky’s website at www.alexiskrasilovsky.com

    "Most outstanding is the cross-cultural global perspective the author brings to us in this book; a perspective that while timely is also informative to the audience, teacher and screenwriter. This book would be a fine addition to classes not only in adaptation, of course, but also in screenwriting, genre, film history and criticism."
    — Warren Lewis, Journal of Screenwriting Volume 11, Number 1

    "Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling, by Alexis Krasilovsky, is a brilliant exploration of the genesis of some of the most potent ideas and stories from around the globe that have influenced countless film and television narratives – past and present. It’s inspirational and motivates the screenwriter to ideate on new narrative avenues that can explore the myths, legends, fables, fine ideas and literature that have fascinated mankind since the beginning of time. Krasilovsky explores global influences that have shaped the "male" story and the "female" story, emphasizes the importance of setting, time and place, and includes a multitude of supporting example. This book must be included in every academic study on Adaptation and is a "must have" in every screenwriter’s toolbox."

    —Jule Selbo, Screenwriter, Author of Screenplay: Building Story through Character and Film Genre for the Screenwriter; Co-editor of Women Screenwriters, An International Guide.

    "Krasilovsky’s book provides a motherlode of broad-ranging insights into the art of adaptation, illuminating an essential truth about the sea of stories in which we all swim. It’s a book every screenwriter should read."

    —Robin Swicord, Writer/Director, Wakefield; Screenwriter, Matilda, Little Women, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    "Alexis Krasilovsky blew me away with her encyclopedic knowledge of movies, books, and theater. She's read and seen everything it seems, and applies the wisdom gained in her analyses of classic adaptations as well as contemporary classics to be. She explores stories from around the globe and how they have found their way into film (and vice versa!). There are helpful hints, too, on how to approach an adaptation for the neophyte screenwriter, and a treasure trove of suggestions for source material. Here's where to start if you want to adapt a book, play, magazine article, or true story into a film."

    —Paul Chitlik, Clinical Associate Professor, Screenwriting, Loyola Marymount University

    "To my knowledge, there are no other screenwriting books on adaptation that are as global or as inclusive of women and minorities. Professor Krasilovsky inspires both screenwriters and students alike to broaden their world and their perspectives."

    —Georgia Jeffries, Emmy-winning Writer/Producer; Associate Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts

    "This book exhibits Professor Krasilovsky's customary diligent scholarship, her clarity of expression, her impassioned defense of quality writing and her original approach to what has, up until now, been a demagogically barren, or at best banal landscape."

    —Robert B. Taylor, Screenwriter, Muggers (2000); Screenwriting Lecturer, Bath Spa University, UK

    "Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling, by Alexis Krasilovsky is a great book for any writer. There are so many ideas on every page. In fact, reading about the life of Mary Shelley and how it informed Frankenstein made me want to write a screenplay about her right now. If you want practical advice or just to spark your imagination and consider other ways of storytelling that are fresh to the tired Western view of storytelling, pick up Great Adaptations today."

    —Autumn Doerr, Writer/Producer; Author of Baker's Dozen: A Lexi Fagan Mystery

    "Great Adaptations is a writer's ultimate toolkit for adapting a wide variety of work for film, TV, and other forms of media. Krasilovsky’s educational background, professional experience, and status as a ‘world citizen’ gives her a unique perspective and ability to share her knowledge about this most challenging literary puzzle. Well done!"

    —Ken Lee, Vice President, Michael Wiese Productions

    "I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering adapting a book into a screenplay — in fact, there's so much insight into the screenwriting process in general, it would be a good idea for any screenwriter to read it. An incredibly smart book, written with an awareness of the readers' needs, and absolutely eye-opening for writers who are looking to expand their knowledge of international cinema as well. This is a remarkable book."

    —Anna Weinstein, Series Editor of PERFORM: Succeeding as a Creative Professional; Lecturer, Media Studies, Auburn University

    "Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling is of particular significance to burgeoning film industries such as ours in Bangladesh, where our screenwriters aspire to make their work known both in our country and internationally."

    —Bibesh Roy, Executive Director, International Academy of Film and Media, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    "Great Adaptations is a significant contribution to the field of Screenwriting and Media Theory/Criticism. It rivals, complements, and—in terms of its scope—goes further than works on adaptation theory by Leitch and Hutcheon. While it is a strong academic work, its clarity makes it accessible to all who want to know more about film adaptation, particularly in the global marketplace. Unlike most other books in the field of Screenwriting, it is also highly diverse in its selection of screenwriters and their films."

    —DE Wynter, MFA | DGA | WGA; Professor Cinema & Television Arts, California State University, Northridge