Film adaptations of non-fiction literature are a staple of award-season cinema. From All The President’s Men to 12 Years A Slave, fact-based stories have left indelible impressions on the silver screen.
As cable networks look toward commissioning scripted miniseries, there are more obvious outlets for authors and their agents to pitch execs with similarly epic ideas based on works of literary non-fiction. However, documentary adaptations from a literary property are less common.
“What I’ve found is that [books] can form my broad creative thinking, but they rarely translate to a specific series or show,” says Julian P. Hobbs, vice president of scripted and non-fiction development and programming for History.
The main difference, he suggests, is that television is a collaborative process compared with the solitary act of writing. “Cable, especially in factual, has really evolved its language in how to tell stories, which is less reliant upon the written word form of narrative storytelling,” he continues. “They may share common ideas and information, but rarely do they share common storytelling techniques.”
Read more: http://realscreen.com/2014/02/21/bringing-non-fiction-books-from-page-to-screen/