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Screen Adaptation, 2nd Edition by Kenneth Portnoy

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6

Social Issue

Abortion, child abuse, alcoholism, drugs, and wife beating are all popular social issues. A screenplay benefits by using such issues to create a strong foundation for its story. In the adapting process, the writer may refocus the social issue. There may be several issues in a novel that need to be narrowed down to fit the tight time constraints of the screenplay. Or the screenwriter might want to deal with an issue that is more contemporary than the one in the novel, one more likely to appeal to a mass audience. Sometimes a screenwriter has a problem with censorship. There is more leeway in what gets printed than there is in what gets shown on the screen. Here, commercialism plays its part in the screenwriter’s decision. An X-rated ...

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