Have you read the book?

Many (most) of today’s films had their origins in a book.  Sometimes the story translates well into the film media and sometimes it does not.  When it does not it is usually because of one of two factors:

1- The story line is changed in some material way by the omission of a character or scenes in order to address constraints of the film format for length/budget that results in gaps in the story; or,

2- Something within the story is materially changed due to cast selection, location, or other visual factors that when left to the imagination of the reader were more relatable.

When artists create something it is fully integrated in the market with their personal brand whether the work is written, recorded, or other mediums.  It can be a challenge to allow someone else to fill in our blanks.  Whether that person is our reader, or someone repurposing the work in another media format. 

To understand this more fully, consider visual art.  Each viewer can interpret it differently.  And they may not interpret the work according to the artist’s intent.  That is really at the heart of this area of discussion – what needs to be honored most?  The original intention or the artist or the freedom of interpretation of the consumer.

The answer is pretty straight forward.  The interpretation of the consumer will always trump the artist’s intent.  A reader’s response is no more predictable than someone sitting in a theatre watching the story unfold.  We each bring our own perspective and lens into the experience. As creators, sometimes we just have to do what it is we do best and learn to develop and trust the right circle of collaboration, including our audience.

It is what has worked best in anything.  We are responsible to do our best work.  We can then protect it by associating only with the best resources within our teams.  The ultimate objective after all is to meet the audience where they are and then transport them to where they want to go.  Once we realize that they (our audience) are in fact our silent co-writer it becomes easier to create the space for them to be effective in their role.


About Kathi Laughman

Referred to by her clients as “The Plan B to Z Expert”, Kathi inspires them to see beyond probabilities to possibilities. They are stronger, happier and more financially secure than ever before. The result is the creation of far more value in the rest of their story than they ever dreamed possible. She serves professionals committed to continuously creating new pathways to success and significance.


  1. […] KATHI LAUGHMAN. When artists create something, it is fully integrated into the market with their personal brand, whether the work is written, recorded, or [created via] other mediums.  It can be a challenge to allow someone else to fill in our blanks, whether that person is our reader or someone repurposing the work in another media format. […]

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