Should someone read the book before they see the movie?

The book usually relates the facts and the Movie dramatizes them.
Books can go into detail about environment and history, etc. while a movie must find its inciting incident early in the story and follow pretty tight structure points in its 3 acts.

The commitments to time and structure can limit the content causing the script writer an often difficult job.

If both are available simultaneously, see the movie first. It seldom spoils a movie to read the book it came from first. However, if you like the element of surprise when watching a movie, then see it first.

Remember, a book is the theatre of the mind. Your protagonist may look quite different than the one on screen. A movie fills in areas left to your imagination in the book.

I’ve long advised young film makers who want a leg up when starting out in the biz to “write the book.” The book provides the guide for the movie and the original author is more in a position of power to see the movie through and even participate in production in some cases. The bigger the hit, the more power you have.

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