Adapting The Martian and Conclusion from A History of the Art of Adaptation [Video] (2:06)

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Watch this entire presentation

Adapting The Martian and Conclusion from A History of the Art of Adaptation



The latest latest is the Martian which is a really interesting book on several levels. You guys know it was self-published and he would put chapters online one chapter at a time and he would take input from people and then he would add that to the stuff he was writing as he went further and he had so much of a following online he was able to take it to publishing companies. They said “well so many people care about what’s happening we’ll try publishing it.” It became a best-seller now of course it’s become a movie with Matt Damon hugely successful the last two three weeks at the box office. It’s been the number one movie. What have they changed? Well happily not too much. In the book they jump right into him being there you know in the movie they have to show you how stuff exploded so it’s big and exciting. That’s why we know he’s stuck at Mars. That’s a small change no one’s too upset. What bothers me is we have another Argo situation. There’s a character in the book named Mindy Park and she is his connection down at NASA right. If I say the last name Park to you does any ethnicity come to mind? Korean-American that’s who she is in the book. In the movie can’t get much blonder than that. Absolutely every bit of ethnicity has been washed out of that character which is amazing because clearly it’s a very successful and popular character inside the novel. Why they didn’t think that they could allow a Korean-American actress to portray here kind of fascinating but also kind of sad because if you don’t read the book you don’t really get the story. and so frankly the moral of the story which I thought was hilarious is actually a book called the moral of the story. The Morel of the Story, you got to read the books. You can’t just see the movies.You have to read the book so you’re not really having the experience that the person wanted you to have and I think that’s the coolest thing because it lets a movie continue to live with you. If you liked it that much you’re going to love the extra details you get inside the book. That’s it. Thank you very much.


About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.  In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University.  She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Her upcoming book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture” will be published in Fall 2016

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

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Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

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