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Dune Control

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What if you had been given a chance to shape the first film interpretation of Dune? Imagine for a moment that the current interpretations that exist already as a film or a television miniseries DON'T. Oh that's right, voice-modules included, there gone.

The Mission: You have all the money, time and manpower in the world to create the version that you would most like to see on screen.

The Catch:

- You must point out one scene in the novel that you would most like to include and why?

- You must point out one scene in the novel that you would most like to exclude and why?

- You must add one scene from your own imagination that does not occur in the novel

Let's see today's young minds at work.

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1. Ending of first chapter. Very emotional, I would say even little pathetic. But if I would have good actors, more of Paul's true age, no grown-ups like McLachlan, it would seem very good.

2. Some of those endless talks between baron Harkonnen and de Vries about their strategies to destroy Atreides family. It would spoil much.

3. Well, final battle for Arakeen has a big potential of making side scenes.

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are ya nuts caid???!!! lol the Baron/Piter connection is where it is at.lol In fact those were my favorite parts of the whole movie. The more I watch it the more I realize how ugly the rest of it is, in a sense that it just feels rough. Hard to explain. The parts with the baron and piter though are golden. at least in my opinion.

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First off, I wouldn't give a rip about pleasing John and Jane Q. Movie-watcher.  I wouldn't worry about making it into some nice condensed 2 or 2 1/2 hour long "blockbuster".  It wouldn't be possible to get everything right, convey the right feeling, or include everything while trying to constrain time and please the "average" viewer.  I guess what I'm saying is if I were making it, it'd be an "artsy" film.  As far as special effects?  I'd want them to be great, but not the focal point of the movie.  I think that happens too often.  A movie comes out and every shits their pants about the special effects without caring too much about the overall effect of the movie.  I'd make it as long as it needed to be.  I wouldn't cut a THING out or change a WORD of dialogue.  Call me pretentious or anal, but I just don't think someone's original story or vision should be fucked with in the name of time constraints or "accessibility".  It's art as far as I'm concerned.  Actually, I've thought that Dune might make a good animated movie.  I'm not talking japanimation, but I think the format might work better.  You wouldn't need a huge special effects budget, just a really good artist.  A lot of the strange "spice-tripping" and interior monologues might work better with the format too. 

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That'd be an awful, horrendiously bad movie.  You have to change things when translating a story from novel to the screen.  It's required or you'll end up with the biggest pos film ever made.

Peter Weir said it best:  When adapting a book you pick up the book, hold it upside down, and shake out everything.  All the wonderfull prose, the dialogue, eveything, until all you are left with is shadow characters and the basic plot.  That's the basis of your screenplay.  After that, then you start filling in the rest.

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I'm not in the mood to write a novel, of changes that need to be made to the movie, but... well in order to make the movie more "cool", the battle for Arrakeen could made at the scale of LOTR3 battle for Minas Tirith, I mean Arrakeen defended by a large force of Sardaukars (not just 3 unlucky guys standing @ the front door  ;D ;D ). Include Fedaykeen VS Bashar SW Jedi style knife fights...hmm could be very cool  ;)

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mahdi is right. You cannot take a book and directly make a film out of it, it always fails. This is why short stories always make wonderful films. Honestly you could take 15 pages from a good book, and make a 90 page screenplay out of it. You could take a short snippit from a book and make it a two hour film. Now Dune, sheesh if you wanted it that long you could practically make it a year long series with an episode each week if you wanted to get into that detail, then it would be diluted though in my opinion.

To make a film out of a book, you have to edit massively. You cannot make the film directly from the book, instead you have to take the book and adapt IT into the film, not the other way around, otherwise it wont work.

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I personaly don't think so, if the director has good imagination, he can easily make a good movie out of the book, but if the director imagines olive skin, dark hair Atreides from a water world, with a lot of sun like the guy that's in the movie...what should we expect  :-

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I personaly don't think so, if the director has good imagination, he can easily make a good movie out of the book, but if the director imagines olive skin, dark hair Atreides from a water world, with a lot of sun like the guy that's in the movie...what should we expect

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That would be no problem. You've seen how popular was ie Evangelion...

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That would be no problem. You've seen how popular was ie Evangelion...

Evangelion had justification in using so many 'inner confliction' scenes concerning Shinji, as a small portion of the the series was devoted singularly to his psyche. As far as Dune is concerned, I don't think we need to hear everything Muad'Dib think and feels about anything and everything.

Now Dune, sheesh if you wanted it that long you could practically make it a year long series with an episode each week if you wanted to get into that detail, then it would be diluted though in my opinion.

Well, what would you do? Contribute man!

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I didn't really contribute before, so here's my bit... :D

I think much more important than including every line and nuance of the actual story in the book is conveying the same feel as when you read the book when you watch a movie version. For instance you don't need every line of Paul's monologue thoughts to convey what he is thinking about... Of course it will be different from the book, the very definition of making a movie out of a book is making it a different piece of work. In a book all the author uses is words to create visual experience, and in a movie that same description of a scene can be shown in simply the image itself. The part where everyone disagrees is in the interpretation of the text, what should the scene really look like, etc...

Probably the biggest problem with making the Dune series into movies is that there hasn't been a good way of showing the extended-dimensional experiences of the spice trance through a visual medium. And the variations of interpretation are even greater on this particular subject... :D Someone should really explore ways to show the trance, with effects, good acting...

Anyway here are my "catches":

1. INCLUDE the scene where Jessica receives the message from Lady Fenring in the greenhouse room on Arrakeen. I think it made Jessica much more complex and kept you guessing about her loyalty.

2. EXCLUDE... hmm. Does combining scenes count? If so, combine the scene of Paul's testing with the soon following chat between Jessica and the Reverend mother.

3. NEW SCENE: Transition sequence between Book II and III (Muad'dib ---> The Prophet) to show passage of time, rather than just say, "Two years later..."

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there you could do many things in creating a Dune film. Stanley Kubrick once said that anything that is thought of or written down can be turned into a film. Now I think that is stretching it. You could definitely turn anything like that into a film, but it still might not be as good or uncomparable to the book or writing or thought you had.

Generally speaking you dont want to make the movie "like" the book, instead you want to modify it, trying to keep the essentials into the film that are most important. You want to keep the basic moods and themes of the book, as well as keeping it's integrity, while making a film that is decent. This requires much modification and that cannot be helped.

Or you could do it a different way. You can take one little really neat snippit of the book that is a neat sideline or part of the book in itself, then create that portion into a film, this is much more daring though and I am not sure if it could be done.

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"The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle."

there you could do many things in creating a Dune film. Stanley Kubrick once said that anything that is thought of or written down can be turned into a film. Now I think that is stretching it. You could definitely turn anything like that into a film, but it still might not be as good or uncomparable to the book or writing or thought you had.

Now you see, thats where your wrong. I'm familiar with that quotation: "If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed." Correct? In fact it was partially responsible for the nature of this topic. Personally I couldn't agree more with this quote, on the basis that it is by all means, very true. Anything can be filmed, anything can be written, anything can be thought or spoken or felt, these things apply to every form of creative thought. A couple years ago, I would've agreed with you."Dune can't be filmed, its too complicated and vast, to be adapted. How could you translate a literary masterpiece to film without it being tarnished." Honestly, Dune isn't utterly perfect. Its not a total masterpiece and some details can be changed and altered without impacting the "integrity" of the piece. The "but it still might not be as good or uncomparable to the book or writing or thought you had." bit kind of made me laugh. I know TMA, your familiar with 2001. Which is better the book or the film? Can they even be compared?

"I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings." - Arthur C. Clarke

This book has been adapted to incredible success, Dune can't perform likewise if adapted properly?

Generally speaking you dont want to make the movie "like" the book, instead you want to modify it, trying to keep the essentials into the film that are most important. You want to keep the basic moods and themes of the book, as well as keeping it's integrity, while making a film that is decent. This requires much modification and that cannot be helped.

Yea, thats kinda what I asked you to do. This entire topic is an excercise in screen writing, what would you give and what would you taketh away. We as fans (myself included), seem to find fault with both adaptations of Dune without offering any hint of what we would have done, had it been we that had been adapting the novel. What's lacking is the genuine appreciation for the work that David Lynch and John Harrison have toiled over to produce. It's not be all means easy work, and I thought it would be interesting to see which parts of the novel would be rejected and the new ones that would take their place. That's part of what adaptation is, the modification of a document that is either vastly or vaguely different from what that original document was. If anyone could preserve the integrity of a novel from its conversion to film, it would be a fan.

"A filmmaker has almost the same freedom as a novelist has when he buys himself some paper."
36 of the 76 Best Picture winning films were adapted from a novel.

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My own opinion is that no move-adaption will *ever* be as good as the written novel, but many are still great movie sin their own right. The recent LotR movie addaptions were fantastic movies! Their nearness to the original manuscript is suspect, though. But anyway, enough about this.

<hangs David Lynch' gods-damned weirding modules> Enough said? Not quite.

3. NEW SCENE: Transition sequence between Book II and III (Muad'dib ---> The Prophet) to show passage of time, rather than just say, "Two years later..."

It happened in Lynch's film. Albeit with weirding modules involved. Scenes of fremen blowing up spice harvesters, killing harkonnens, accompanied to music and a princess Irulan voice-over "In the years that followed, Muad'Dib and his Fremem brough spice production to a halt. Fearing for his life, Rabban tried desperately to hide the fact from the emperor." etc etc etc.

My changes... the weapons. Some Howitzer-style artillary during the Harkonnen invasion. More enphasis on bladed weapons - long-knives and swords. No fancy hi-tech looking weaponry. Lazguns were supposed to be bulky, and hardly used because of the shield reaction and the fact that they were notoriously hard to maintenance.

My Scene: The duel with Javis. In both the movie and miniseries, it fells like they make it out that Paul wins by chance, when it was a clean blow to the chest after a knife-shift when jamis leaps, not some chance "two man barrage into each other, one ends up with a dagger in him." In the thoughts of jessica, Paul is a "Killing-machine trained from infancy, with teachers including such men as Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck." arguably the two greatest warriors in the known universe at that time, after Hasimar Fenring. I'd also keep the scene immediately after, of Jessica and Stilgar's words to Paul after the duel.

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My Scene: The duel with Javis. In both the movie and miniseries, it fells like they make it out that Paul wins by chance, when it was a clean blow to the chest after a knife-shift when jamis leaps, not some chance "two man barrage into each other, one ends up with a dagger in him." In the thoughts of jessica, Paul is a "Killing-machine trained from infancy, with teachers including such men as Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck." arguably the two greatest warriors in the known universe at that time, after Hasimar Fenring. I'd also keep the scene immediately after, of Jessica and Stilgar's words to Paul after the duel.

Was that scene even in Lynch's Dune?  Both movies could have benefited from more material at the beginning of thier time with the Fremen.

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It was in the special edition. 35 minutes of extra footage and a new intro that explains the political structure, the origin of the great schools, and about the feud betwene the houses ATreides and Harkonnen, as well as a brief glimps into the Harkonnen/Corrino plot. NO MORE FLYING IRULAN HEAD! Actually, fans of the english dubbed Gundam Wing would recognise the intro's voice-over actor as the voice of the GW's narrator. "In the year Aftercolony 1-9-6" etc.

<thinks> I can't rememebr what else was added. But the extra scenes are good.

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I personaly don't think so, if the director has good imagination, he can easily make a good movie out of the book, but if the director imagines olive skin, dark hair Atreides from a water world, with a lot of sun like the guy that's in the movie...what should we expect  :-

Paul and Leto are both described as having very black hair.

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I think that no matter what good of a director you are or what your budget is really matters here. The truth is, Dune makes and would make a terrible movie. The book is definetly the greatest science fiction book of all time. But you can't make a movie out of it without making people fall asleep. The book is supposed to create a world in a person's imagination, not give someone a preset world. You might argue that the LOTR films did great and they had the same purpose. Yes, that is true, but LOTR didn't have a shred of politics involved, unless you count "WE CONQUER YOU NOW!" Dune is a world that runs in your head, but when you precreate a non-interactive world for people to see, it doesn't work.

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