So in what order must you experience a story? Movie or Book first?
I have often debated this, and have come up with no clear answer.
If you read the book first, your mind is free to create the looks and settings as far as these are not described in to much detail. But then the movie after is often a disappointment, the characters are miscast or the setting not excatly how you wanted it to be. No the other way around, enjoying the movie with no previous knowledge of the story, creates a much more engaging movie experience, and all (but the bad acting or script) is accepted as it is. Furthermore reading the book afterwards only details the story and deepens the plot, and sometimes even explains the actions in the movie. But then something goes missing from the book experience, the interactivity of the story line, your own creation of characters and settings. You adapt everything from the movie.
some examples and how I dealt with them:
- Lords of the rings: this is almost a exception from the rule! Here I read and reread the books many times before seeing Peter Jackson’s adoption of the movie, but all characters and settings are spot on (only one story fault really) Perhaps this is due to the fact that he used one of the most frequently used illustrators to handle the artwork of the movie. (John Howe)
- Harry Potter: This one I will see all the movies before reading the books, so far its a good story, only the last movie, had some problems getting the story to be coherent. but I have not read any of the books yet.
- Golden Compas, this i read around seeing the first movie (only one?) and this was real confusing, I ended up adopting the cast from the movie, but mixing the slitly different stories together, this is defiantly not the way to do it.
So before this test, i would say the original medium for the story is the right way to start, this way, you can at least try to figure out why the makers of the transmediated stories did what they had to.
So but where does Games fit in to this? I decided to try to experience a story, starting with the last media, ending with the original. And the choice fell on Coraline, a story by Niel Gaiman.
I really love this authors work, and I am sure it’s a good book. He has some excellent work in other media (commix: the excellent “The Sandman”) and the funny and under appreciated movie “Stardust” witch is a retold version of this book/novel of the same name.
I could not get, what would have been the best way to start this test, the Coraline sneakers, but first, the Wii game, then the movie, and last the Book.
This test is in now way a scientific analysis, but meant as en experiment for fun, and discussion.
btw it did had exelent commercials: