Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Movies

We have a guest blogger today - author J.P. Edwards, talking about characters and movies.

One of the things I do for 'research' when I'm writing is go to the movies. I like lots of different kinds of movies and every summer, it seems there's many to choose from in many categories. Most recently, I have watched Thor, Super 8, Green Lantern, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Just Go With It, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bridesmaids, and I can't tell you how many others.

These movies have had varying degrees of success, several time periods, and lots of different characters. In movies, I take note of how the characters are developed, why we love or hate them ... or are just 'meh' about them. And when I write, I actually 'see' my story in my head - much like a movie. Which I suppose is a good thing, yes?

Have you thought about 'casting' your book, choosing what actress or actor you would pick for each character? For example, in my current WIP, I have a character who I have chosen Emeril to play. Is this character a cook? No, he's not. But he has the same ebullient personality and larger than life persona Emeril has. He's perfect for what I need him to do in the story.

So who are your favorite celebrities? Could any of them star in your books?

Think about how you might have cast Twilight differently, or what kind of 'alien' or 'monster' you might put in Super 8 or Green Lantern, or Thor, for that matter. Did you agree with the casting choices made in the movie you liked?

My favorite example is Sherlock Holmes. I didn't know if Robert Downey, although he is one of my favorite actors, could play the Holmes I'd read about all my life. And Jude Law was SO not my choice for Watson. I'd always seen Watson as an older man, rotund and fatherly. Definitely not Jude Law. But you know what? Law was great as Watson, and after discussing it with other Holmes fans, we decided the casting had been a brilliant choice! They took someone who could show he'd had an injury in the war, but was still otherwise fit and brave. And he looked good next to Downey, right? They both looked great!

So think about character casting and you might find yourself thinking outside the box. Maybe you've seen a bit part actor you think could carry a story - I personally like the "Mayhem" guy on the insurance commercial. I'd like to put him in a story, because he's perfect for the character in my head.

Have fun casting your characters and see if giving them faces in your mind helps you get to know them better. I'm betting it will.

Any movies you can think of you'd have casted differently?
Tell me about it :)