Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Dresden Files Interview with Jim Butcher


Sunday, I spent an hour with Jim Butcher, creator of The Dresden Files then sat through his talk at a local bookstore, The Poison Pen in Scottsdale AZ. (he's a very good speaker -- and very funny too!)

It was very informative and enjoyable -- maybe 45 or 50 people turned out in a smallish bookstore.

He was born in 1971 and grew up on Anime, Spiderman movies, and modern adult fantasy - thinks visually of story in Anime and film terms and likes the Anime style of deep relationships and screaming hot action.

Patric asked a good question which I posed to Jim:

Is he satisfied with how his books were translated to the screen.

Jim said yes he is, the only real changes were cosmetic and for practical TV filming purposes.
The two we discussed were the switch from Dresden driving a VW Beetle to a Jeep -- and the reason was that a 6Ft+ guy getting in and out of a Beetle on screen would be funny/awkward every time it was shot whereas in his novels he can play it for laughs only when appropriate.

The reasoning for choosing a Jeep was consistent with the background point that Dresden's body field fries fancy electronics. Also the VW Beetle would be harder to shoot from various angles and catch Dresden's image inside -- but the Jeep is easy and thus cheaper. So he accepts that change.

The other visual change was the long duster changed into a fireman's jacket -- and Jim says that's fine since it's in keeping with the way Dresden uses fire. On the other hand he and I agree the jacket just doesn't have the right look -- the flowing leather duster would look better. I'm not sure of the reason for that change.

The wand becoming a hockey stick he can live with easily enough. The blasting rod we didn't discuss -- we only had an hour. But basically I agree that so far the TV version has only superficial changes necessary to make the budget work (fewer characters, less animation, fewer sets). If they do a second season and onwards I do hope they can increase the budget.
I have philosophy and writing-lesson material for several columns and the final episode of the first season airs tonight. I want to see that and then write some columns. They'll decide by June whether to do a second season - no word on the DVD yet. Of course as author of the books, Jim is the last to know!

I'm working on the July 2007 column and a few more that will feature bits from this interview.

My review column, ReReadable Books (because it's not worth its cover price if it's not re-readable) is published on paper in The Monthly Aspectarian, then posted to their website lightworks.com then archived on simegen.com/reviews/rereadablebooks/ so you can always look up prior columns.

Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Creator of the Sime~Gen Universe
where a mutation makes the evolutionary
division into male and female pale by comparison.

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