[B5JMS] Attn: JMS- screenplay vs. adapted screenplay

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Sat Feb 17 04:23:20 EST 2001

From: Kailin Yu <kailin at attglobal.net>
Date: 16 Feb 2001 07:47:13 -0700
Lines: 43

Joe, had an interesting debate with my boyfriend today, and neither of
us had enough industry knowledge to figure out the answer. It has to do
with the two writing categories in the Oscar race. I understand Best
Screenplay is for an original idea, and that Adapted Screenplay is for a
story based on existing material, be it a book, a play, another movie or
tv series. What had us baffled is this. With a best original screenplay,
they are judging the merits of the script, how good it is, how complete
the character developement is, the pacing, the total plot developement,
etc. But how do they judge an adapted screenplay? Is it just simply how
good the screenplay was adapted from another source, how close it was,
or how different it was, or original without being plagiaristic it was,
or what? Or are they judging how good it is as a screenplay, and just
have two categories? Then the issue becomes, if they judge both
categories on simply how well written they are, why have two categories?
It's sort of like saying they are going to have a best actor category
for a character based on a real person, and a best actor category for a
completely fictional character. You have two best actors, and no one
knows who's best. With the two screenplay categories, you have two best
scripts, so which one is best? The one that was original, and the one
that was simply copied well? And that opens even more can's of worms in
my mind. Is the original screenplay simply being judged on originality,
or on merit of the writing skill, thus matching the adapted screenplay's
judgement on how good a copy it is of it's original material? I think
I'm babbling here, so I hope you could understand where my confusion is,
and be able to understand what I want cleared up. I'm hoping that
because you write in Hollywood, you might actually know the rules that
govern this category, because I certainly don't, and it has long
confused me (no kidding). 

Peace, Love and Rock & Roll,

A science fiction convention.

"May the Goddess whisper your name on the wind."
			Pa'u Zotah Zhaan

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 16 Feb 2001 15:35:16 -0700
Lines: 14

Both are judged simply on the merits on how well they work, not on how well
they match the original work.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

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