Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Words: Acknowledge the Author

This past Sunday, the 2013 Academy Awards took place. Over the course of three and a half hours, a lot of great films and talented individuals were recognized.

And if you think about it, it was a pretty good night for books, too. Ang Lee won best director for the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel Life of Pi. Anne Hathaway won best supporting actress for Les Mis, a film based on a musical that was based on a novel. Daniel Day Lewis won best actor for his portrayal of President Lincoln, and much of the storyline for that film came from the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Jennifer Lawrence took home the statue for best actress in the film adaptation of the novel Silver Linings Playbook. Ben Affleck's Argo, this year's winner for best picture, was adapted from the book Master of Disguise.

Yet you might not have known about all these books by watching the awards. Sure there's the category of best adapted screenplay and they mention the original authors and works (Argo also won in this category), but the actual award goes to the screen writer - nothing goes to the original author or creator.

Giving awards to people outside the film industry isn't where I'm heading with this, it's just the fact of saying thank you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but other than the best adaptation category, I think Ang Lee and Ben Affleck were the only ones who actually acknowledged the men who wrote the books on which their respective films were based. It's a small little thing, but it can go a long way. Like the proverbial ripples in a pond, the influence grows and spreads. Now bookstores and libraries are getting more customers and patrons interested in knowing the 'original' story, and maybe if they like it they'll keep coming back for more.

Am I the only one who thinks wanting the entertainment industry to acknowledge the authors isn't asking too much, or am I being overly sensitive because I'm a bibliophile? You tell me.

Comments are always welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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