From Text to Screen: Spinning Words into Film in the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Genres
Call for Papers Date:
The translation of pre-existing works (plays, novels, short stories) to the big screen remains a problematic process fraught with difficulties of cultural translation and updates as well as differences in media forms and traditions. How do filmmakers take a work – especially one that existed in a different cultural and historical time – and translate it for contemporary audiences?
Such films are seeing unprecedented success in American and world cinema. Having received initial interest from an academic publisher the editors seek chapter proposals on films and the pre-existing texts they are based upon for a work that asks questions about the two kinds of “translation” happening here: How do filmmakers produce a film based on a non-filmic text? And, at the same time, how do they update the cultural ideas in those pre-existing texts for a modern audience without losing the inherent ideas of the original work?
Proposals should consider the following list in assessing their idea’s suitability for this project:
1. Proposals should include either recent films, “classics,” or films underrepresented in academic discussions.
2. Films should be based on non-film texts (preferably written) that are either genre or non-genre.
3. Preference to texts/films that have a somewhat significant period of time between the original text and the filmed version (i.e., Ender’s Game) unless the film/text are undeniably popular (i.e.: Jurassic Park).
4. Emphasis on the needs of the filmmaker to "culturally update" the original text to make it relevant for contemporary audiences, especially along lines of “race/class/gender” and technology/philosophy.
5. Emphasis on the cultural/mythic/folkloric importance of both the original text and the film version.
6. Preference to works that have seen more than a single film production.
7. The editors also wish to indicate a strong preference for avoiding unnecessary academic jargon and emphasizing clear writing and readability.
8. The editors also prefer not to receive proposals on the works of Philip K. Dick at this time.
Chapter proposals should provide a brief abstract (200-400 words) for a chapter of 5,500 to 7,000 words and detail the main thesis of the proposed chapter. Proposals should also include the name, discipline, and current affiliation (if any) of the author(s) with a separate, single page C.V. The editors are willing to consider proposals from graduate students and independent scholars. Proposals should be sent, as a Word and Word-compatible attachment to email@example.com by 1 March. Decisions on proposals will be made by 31 March and initial drafts are expected by 2 June with final drafts due by 18 August. The dates listed are subject to modification as deemed appropriate by the Press but the editors do not anticipate moving the dates up in the calendar.
The editors are interested in proposals on all possible films or film franchises, but are especially interested in the following:
War of the Worlds (Wells/Haskin /Spielberg )
Oz (Baum/Semon /Fleming /Raimi [2013, Oz The Great and Powerful]
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Bates/Wise /Derrickson )
The Thing (Campbell, Jr./Nyby [1951, as The Thing from Another World]/Carpenter /Heijningen, Jr. )
Planet of the Apes (Boulle/Var. Directors, 1968-2014)
Ender’s Game (Card/Hood)
Harry Potter (Rowling/Var. Directors, 2001-2011)
I, Robot (Asimov/Proyas)
The editors also welcome general queries and questions concerning possible proposals and the suitability of specific films/texts at firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Editors: Matthew Wilhelm Kapell & Ace G. Pilkington
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