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Screen Adaptation, 2nd Edition by Kenneth Portnoy

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5

Kramer versus Kramer

The adaptation of Avery Corman’s novel (1977), Kramer versus Kramer, into the screenplay of the same name shows all the classic problems—starting point, elimination of characters, change in characterization, character growth, rounding out of characters, different social issue, elimination of scenes, tightening structure, and addition of obstacles for the protagonist—the screenwriter confronts during the adapting process. This chapter examines this adaptation by focusing on the following nine key points:

1.   Find the starting point. How does the screenplay start differently from the novel?

2.   Change the characterization. How are Ted and Joanna changed from the novel?

3.   Round out characters. How is the antagonist made ...

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