Why isn’t the film exactly like the book?

This is the beginning of the book Nim’s Island: 

In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl.

Nim’s hair was wild, her eyes were bright, and around her neck she wore three cords. One was for a spyglass, one for a whirly, whistling shell and the other a fat red pocket knife in a sheath. 

Now, imagine what Nim looks like. That’s the only description I give of her in the book, so you’ve got to imagine her however you want. How old is she? She can be whatever age you think she is. And her voice and accent are however you imagine them – maybe a lot like yours. (Of course, if you’ve seen the movie you’re probably imagining her looking and sounding exactly like Abigail Breslin, and being 11, because that’s how old Abbie was when she played Nim in the movie. But try to pretend you haven’t already seen someone being Nim. Remember that if another actor had been chosen, you’d imagine Nim differently!) Image

(Wendy & Abigail, on the set)

WIthout even thinking about it,whenever you read, you make the movie in your head. And it’s more than just seeing and hearing the character: when you’re really involved with what you’re reading, you even feel what the character is feeling. Have you ever closed a book and been surprised to find out that it was sunny outside, because it was dark winter inside the book? (Or the other way around?) That’s because when you read, you help the author create the story. The author tells you enough that you can fill in the blanks, and of course everyone fills in those blanks differently, depending on who they are and what’s going on in their lives.

To make a film, you need lots and lots of people. And each of those people has their own picture in their heads of what the story and the people are like. (What’s amazing is that they all manage to get together and make something that works!) 

So, think about it in the next book you read. How would you make a movie of that book?

Some of the crew around ‘Nim’ on the set

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The Nim’s Island crew – all the people doing what the author, Illustrator & editor do in a book. 

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