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The Art of Breaking Breaking Dawn

From The Hobbit to Harry Potter, Hollywood loves dividing popular novels into two separate films.

With the second adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s Breaking Dawn coming to theaters this weekend, we caught up with screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg to find out what it was like to break the novel into two pieces.

She explained in an email interview: “There was a very natural place at which to break the two books.  The second movie needed a little filling out, but the book itself offered many possibilities for that.  Because the book is all told from Bella’s point of view, things sometimes happen off the page and are related by Bella after the fact — for instance, when Jacob tells her father she’s a werewolf.  In the book, Bella finds out about this conversation after it happened, but in adapting the movie, I got to write the conversation itself.”

Finally,  also shared her favorite adapted scripts, recommended reading for all aspiring screenwriters: Brokeback MountainAdaptation, The World According to Garp, and The English Patient

She concluded: “I approach the adaptation of a novel by taking the characters on the same emotional journey in a script that they take in the book.  The scenes may not be the same, necessarily, but the emotional trajectory has to be.  So my advice is to identify the scenes that are essential to characters’ emotional development, then go from there. ”

 

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