From the Page to the Screen
7 9 2019
From the Page to the Screen

How to adapt a novel for television

This well-attended event took place in the Aula Magna of the University of Mantova and was a very engaging lesson in transforming the words of a book into dramatic audio-visual action.

Fabrizio Bettelli and Nicola Lusuardi, screenwriters for Italian TV series (or, as they are known in Italy, fiction) spoke about creating dramatic tension in TV with the affable lead of moderator Roberto Costantini, who lectures at Luiss.

We are reminded that dramaturgy (Lusuardi teaches the subject at the National School of Cinema, the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia) aims to narrate events through conflict and antagonism. In the case of TV productions, the writers and the director work toward rendering conflict visually (and aurally) compelling.

With the aid of clips from TV series such as The Young Pope, Gomorrah and My Brilliant Friend, the authors illustrated how emotional turmoil and personal growth can successfully (and sometimes, less successfully) be translated from book to TV screen.

The event concluded with a surprise guest. Eleonora Andreatta is the Director of Rai Fiction, the Italian production company producing content for RAI's channels, including TV series. She spoke compellingly of the editorial policy behind the recent success of TV series in Italy, which includes the decision in 2012 to film all series exclusively in Italy.