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Book-to-Film Franchise Project

Page history last edited by Ricky Miller 7 years, 5 months ago

Book-to-Film Franchise Project

Team Members: Sam BeelerDerek IsaIan KavanaughRicky MillerAlex Payne

Team Annotated Bibliographies: Sam Beeler, Derek Isa, Ian Kavanaugh, Ricky Miller, Alex Payne

Team Research Projects: Sam Beeler, Derek Isa, Ian Kavanaugh, Ricky Miller, Alex Payne

Final Reports: Ricky Miller

 

Background: The goal of this project is to understand what exactly makes a successful book-to-film franchise.  By looking at film adaptations of popular novel series, this project hopes to connect literary and visual media mediums.  The research will involve evaluating the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series.  The former will represent the standard for a successful book-to-film franchise, and the latter will act as a failure to reach this standard.  This project will analyze the Sorcerer's Stone, the Goblet of Fire, and the Deathly Hallows (Part II of the films) from the Harry Potter series and the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Dawn Treader from the Chronicles of Narnia series.

 

 

Hypothesis:  The Chronicles of Narnia film franchise was less successful than the Harry Potter film franchise because The Chronicles of Narnia series was less relatable to a broad audience and did not adapt to audience desires.   

 

 

Research:

Netlytic Analysis of Trailers

Sentiment Analysis of Book Reviews

 

 

Analysis/Discussion:

  • Social Impact (Netlytic and Umigon): The project team theorized that one of The Chronicle of Narnia's biggest obstacles in becoming a cultural phenomenon akin to Harry Potter was its failure to enthrall widespread, diverse demographics. According to media essayist Ronald Grover, The Chronicle of Narnia is too centered on Christian-based ideas and recreating Harry Potter imagery to establish its place in the zeitgeist.  The online conversation analyzing tool Netlytic helped the team evaluate this theory. The research gained from Netlytic showed that, generally, the Harry Potter trailers uploaded to YouTube had much more social interest and many more people discussing it than Narnia trailers. Further, the conversations about Harry Potter stayed much more focused on the film itself and the elements of the films or Harry Potter as a character. The Narnia viewer comments, however, were more likely to discuss Christianity and references to Harry Potter than they were to discuss Narnia. Using Umigon, a sentiment analysis tool designed for Twitter, the Book-to-Film Franchise project team gauged the active effort film companies put into cultivating a social response. They found that Harry Potter has an official, verified account for the franchise that regularly engages Potter fans to sustain cultural interest in the series. No comparable account could be found for the Narnia franchise. The only sizeable account for Narnia is updated less often than Harry Potter's and is unverified.
  • Sentiment Analysis: In addition to social impact, the project team researched the analytical side of the books by looking at book reviews.  While using the sentiment analysis tool from the DH Tool Chest, this project found that both Potter and Narnia books chosen to be analyzed, yielded an overall positive result.  Despite the issues with general concepts of the tool, (as mentioned in the section below) closely studying the results and reading the reviews support the books' critical success.  The book reviews themselves, sentiment analysis aside, provided reassurance to our hypothesis as well as spark a fascinating question that relates to the purpose of this project.  In the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book review by Stephen King, the critic discretely points out a pitfall of the Chronicles of Narnia novels, stating the end is "almost unbearable" due to the religious focus of the book.  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader book review, by Alyse G, begins her analysis by stating that this novel was her favorite of the entire series.  This brings in to question why, with this Narnia book having positive critical acclaim, did the story translate to the worst film of the Narnia series.  The answer is debatable, but can be a result of the films rapidly tapering off or possibly the lack of continuity of bring all four core actors back for this movie.  

 

 

Closing Thoughts/Improvements of Project:

     In the interest of performing more formal analyses on what aspects of a film itself attracted viewership, this project planned to use the video analysis tool Cinemetrics. Unfortunately, the time constraints of the class prevented the group from learning the programming skills needed to use the tool. Cinemetrics would have allowed the film-to -book franchise team to study a film’s tone and visual qualities.  The project aimed to use the research to prove or disprove a correlation between a book’s written tone and a film’s color palette, evaluate the differences in visual style between films within the same series, and judge whether or not the visual qualities corresponded to public interest. Cinemetrics is one of the few video and film analysis tools theoretically capable of providing us film-derived data. Unfortunately, the digital humanities tools have not quite developed to the necessary functionality to reliably and easily mine data from video.

     The use of sentiment analysis presented its own share of issues as well.  When the project team attempted to input a book review for the final Harry Potter novel, the sentiment analysis failed to load over 20 times.  Even attempts to shorten the length of the review and split the results into smaller sections failed.  This brings up another issue, the program limited the amount of text it could analyze at once (200 lines).  Sentiment analysis also failed to distinguish between negative adjectives describing characters or unrelated terms and negative criticism of the books as a whole.  The programmers for the tool clearly have control of how bias the program can be because when you type in "I studied at Stanford," it yields a positive result, whereas when you replace Stanford with Harvard, the result is negative.

     The most challenging aspect of the project is the lack of technology available that has the same capabilities of analyzing film the way humans do.  It is impossible for a tool to pick up on characterization, mis-en-scene, poor CGI, and other aspects that all detract from a quality film.  With more time and using primarily human-based film analysis, this project could have read through each of the fourteen books throughout both the Potter and Narnia collections.  Then the book-to-film franchise project team could analyze all eleven (eight Potter, three Narnia) films and analyze certain aspects that adapted well to the screen (relatable nature of a character, how true the story stuck to the books, accurately creating the worlds of each series).

 

References:

    Grover, Ronald. "The Lion, the Witch, And the Franchise." Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine. Bloomberg LP, 6 Nov. 2005. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

     G, Alyse. "Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S Lewis." Best Fantasy Books Blog. 28 July 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2014

     King, Stephen. "Wild About Harry." The New York Times. 23 July 2000. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

 

 

Project Presentationhttps://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1lT9YXEHuv17dLt22A2Gv3IX9PMDyoZFAbv1fUKt6lFY/edit#slide=id.p3

 

 

Project ProposalEnglish Project.pptx 

 

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