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Published:February 15th, 2008 14:42 EST
Media Is The Masses: You've Got Options*

Media Is The Masses: You've Got Options*

By Sean Stubblefield

"I`ll wait for the movie."

That`s what people often say when they`d rather not take the more time and effort required to read through a book, for whatever reasons.

The problem with that attitude is that the movie version is never identical to the book version, and the experience of watching a movie is not the same as reading.

The natures of these distinct media formats necessitate and enable different modes and degrees of expression and kinds of interpretation. A movie is much more limited and constricted by time than a book is, thereby making a movie essentially a summarization and compression of the book`s main story points and elements. The structure of a movie-- being a visualization or enactment of the text-- requires particular alterations and mutations of the story to be relayed in real space, in accordance with the framework and capabilities of the medium (as well as current technology).

Besides the available knowledge and skill of the story`s tellers in that medium. A movie`s depiction of a story is also more confined than a book`s due to logistical concerns of material resources, personnel, location, budget and politics.

Things and events described in a book may not be physically, financially, legally, politically or morally possible to re-create in the real world.


A movie could further elaborate on, develop or revise a story as told in a book, or vice versa. Except in rare cases, the book`s telling of a story will be more developed than in a movie`s telling, because books are typically more at liberty and more able to do so.

And that`s all besides the obvious experiential and processing differences between books and movies: a movie is illustrated externally for us on screen; a book is illustrated by us internally in our mind`s eye. Context and results may vary per individual imagination, beliefs and moods. The way information is presented and received is different for movies and books: movies primarily use pictures and sound, books mainly use written words.

Clearly, getting a story by watching a movie is not the same as reading it in a book.


So while we`re watching the movie`s rendition of a story that is originally presented in text, instead of a book`s portrayal, we miss the original story entirely.

Certain context, aspects and details are lost by foregoing the book.

Not to say that books are always-- nor inherently-- superior to movies, only that they are different mediums with intrinsic defining attributes, capacities and approaches.

One medium is not the same thing as the other; they are not interchangeable.

*OPTION is an industry term meaning that a book`s story has been bought with the option of making into a movie.

Currently based in Houston Texas, Sean Stubblefield graduated Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Television Production. A philosopher poet, Stubblefield has been writing non-fiction for 15 years, and has penned eight books to date. His first book, Paradox: A Journey Inside Out is available today at

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