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For more than two years, Serling, who had earned a solid reputation as a television writer, struggled with the task of adapting this complex story for the big screen.
For the next two years, producer Arthur P. Jacobs worked to raise enough funding for what had developed into a very expensive project. Before filming began, another experienced writer, Michael Wilson, was brought in to work on the script. Finally, in earlyPlanet of the Apes was released, with both Wilson and Serling sharing screen credit.
For the remainder of the book, the main character tries to make sense of this "upside-down" society—and in the process, Boulle raises such issues as balance of power, racism, the role of government, and evolution. Eventually, the protagonist, with the help of two friendly ape-scientists; escapes and flies back home, where—after landing at Orly Airport—his craft is met by a truck being driven by a gorilla.
Phyllis, after dismissing a last shred of doubt with an energetic shake of her velvety ears, took out her compact and, in view of their return to port, touched up her dear little chimpanzee muzzle.
I mean, three or four drafts is nothing! Frank just loved it right from the beginning—and really made only very minor changes, mostly a little dialog here and there. Although the novelist had achieved a clever ending, it represents a clear example of the challenge a writer faces in the screen adaptation of a novel.
Serling had tried a similar effect in a Twilight Zone episode where a young woman, portrayed as hopelessly deformed, undergoes surgery in an attempt to correct her abnormal appearance.
In Eye of the Beholder; her face is bandaged throughout, and by careful use of camera angles and other visual techniques, Serling hides the physical appearance of doctors, nurses, and other characters. The position of the bedlight throws the far end of the room in shadows so that all we can see of the nurse is that of an angular, tall silhouette, her face invisible.
Noses, eyes, mouths, ears, everything, almost as if they were cartoons; almost as if they were some caricature drawings come to life.
And while in the novel a "mother ship" is left orbiting safely around the planet while the explorers land in a kind of shuttlecraft, Serling places the protagonists in immediate peril by having their ship sucked underground by a sort of quicksand.
This provides the "inciting incident" which is necessary to set up a good movie story: Finally stopping to take a rest-they begin to argue about the importance of their "mission. But he makes sense. You thought life on Earth was meaningless. So what did you do? He is silent for a moment. When he speaks, his tone is soft, reflective.
But my dreams are a lot emptier than yours. Instead of basing the story on physical conflict between Thomas and the apes, Serling uses the plot to explore "who came first-ape or man," and the effect of this issue upon the social structure in this strange society.
There are no power lines, no street lamps -indeed, no streets an such, but only a small cluster of buildings around a pleasant mall. The architecture of the buildings is fairly derivative of the simpler and less rococo work of Antonio Gaudi - columns and pillars of brick or exterior masonry look like the trunks and branches of great trees and suggest an arboreal past.
The Flintstonish sets are craggy, ponderous things-suggesting the American Southwest, The Roman Forum, and so on, but seldom creating a feeling that we are anywhere but on quite familiar terrain.
The houses were similar to ours; the roads, which were fairly dirty, looked like our roads. The traffic was less heavy than at home.Autoethnography, is a form of qualitative research in which an author uses self-reflection and writing to explore anecdotal and personal experience and connect this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.
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