Bully! Pulpit Books
The Lion, the Professor, and the Movies by Mark Joseph details the thrilling journey that C.S. Lewis’s classic books took to travel from page to screen. He does not discuss aspects of filmmaking, such as finding the cast or how the costumes were designed. Rather, he looks at the actual work of molding and shaping the book into a film by examining the way the book was adapted.
This book is organized in a logical manner. It begins with the task of acquiring the rights to the book from the Lewis estate, and then continues to discuss the process of adapting the book into a script. One of the main points is the difficult job the production team had of keeping the Christian ideals in the story. Another point heavily discussed is the way the Disney publicity workers had to market the film, as they needed to lure the Christian congregation while also intriguing the secular audience to Narnia. The book concludes by looking forward to the next two films in the series, Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Mark Joseph played a small role in the process of moving Narnia to the big screen, but he writes the book as an observer. He uses sources -- including the producers, directors, media moguls, and the fans of the novels -- to back up his points. The evidence he uses is convincing. He has quotes and interviews from director Andrew Adamson and C. S. Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, among other prominent names in the Christian world and the secular film industry. Joseph himself is a well-known author and has been quoted often on topics of religion, pop culture, and politics. He writes with a knowledgeable tone, demonstrating he understands exactly what he is writing about.
Overall, this book is very interesting. It introduced me to some concepts of filmmaking I had not considered before. Through this book, the reader will be able to walk along the same path as the director and producers as they fought to get this film in theaters. It is a journey documenting every step Aslan and the rest of the beloved Narnia characters took to the silver screen.
Although the book is slow at times because of intensive data and documentation, it still holds interesting information. There are a few points where Joseph appears to be repeating himself in trying to make sure that explanations are clear to readers. One of its strengths is the amount of relevant insider’s facts. It describes much of the process in detail while not going overboard on technology. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who desires to know more about the process a book takes to move from paper to film, and to those who love The Chronicles of Narnia and desire to learn more about the movies. – Elizabeth de Graaf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
On December 12th 2005 Hollywood woke up to discover that The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe had experienced the second largest December opening in film history. In a few short months it went on to become the largest-grossing film in history in the international marketplace. Thus began the opening shot in a 10-year saga that may see all seven books in the Narnia series on the big screen. But where did these films come from? How were they made? How did these become some of the biggest films in history? Why did it take so long to bring them to the big screen? How were they marketed? What is the message of the films? How did Disney, a studio targeted for boycott by the Religious Right, become the distributor? Who was C.S. Lewis and what did he believe?
All of these questions and more will be answered in The Lion, the Professor & the Movies.