Lois Lowry's Blog


Neglect, neglect....

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 26 June 2014 in Uncategorized

Yes, it is true, I have been negecting this blog shamefully, and wiht not excuses, just explanations.  Movie stuff! I have been to NYC, seen an early private screening, then joined with others* to try to re-write the final voiceover which has been a challenge...to say so much, in such limited time, I have watched and re-watched those final minutes (seconds, actually), trying to fit in not only what needs saying, but the saying of it with some intelligence and accuracy and lyricism. *I write, they tweak. They rewrite, I tweak. Words comes down from On High: make it a) edgier, b) tighter, c) ...whatever  More re-writing, more tweaking. There are test screenings, and audiences fill out cards saying..I don't know what (I don't get to see)...not edgy enough; or: I don't understand it; or: why isn't he...or: LOVE IT; or: WONDERFUL. Then it is back to the drawing board, or the computer, the teeth-gnashing, the arguing, the...and eventually (but not quite yet!) a final film emerges.

*This is so different from writing a book, which one does all alone!

This weekend I head to Las Vegas (where I am told it is 108 degrees (REALLY folks?) and Jeff Bridges will join me for an interview in front of a large audience of librarians at the ALA convention. It will NOT be a replay of the "where do you get your ideas?" back-and-forth but rather a provocative and stimulating array of Qs from ALA's president. Jeff and I are pretty much on the same page but I think we will have an interesting spectrum of answers, each of us drawing on our own backgrounds.

So I have come down from the farm, in order to make my way to Boston to catch my plane to LV, and am now at my year-round home in Falmouth; and last night I got to have dinner wiht my teo grandsons.  One of them at 15 taking Drivers' Ed this summer! The other, 13, heading off soon to my alma mater, Brown University, for some serious pre-college science study. "You will be surrounded by nerds," I todl him. "Those are my people," he replied.

In the meantime, I am caught in a quagmire of USPS disasters. I arranged (or so I thought) to have my mail forwarded, starting the beginning of June, from Falmouth, Maine to Bridgton, Maine, where I spend the summers. It is today June 26th and I have yet to get any mail at either place. I have been to both post offices. I have made countless phone calls. I have left my lament on many voice mails. Nothing. Somewhere, I am certain, there is a stack, a pile, a mountain of mail addressed to me. I picture it heaped in a dusty corner of a post office, on the floor, where passing mail carriers kick at it and mutter.

I picture what might be IN that mail (I know, many bills, now unpaid)...an invitation to Prince George's first birthday party? (Please reply to the palace by June 15)?  An announcement of an obscure monetary prize (How should we spell your name on this check for a million Euros? We need this information at once)

This musing is not, actually so far-fetched (well, okay, the million Euros is)  But I one time received, way too late...because it had not been forwarded promptly by the publisher...an invitation to dine with the prime minister of Denmark when he was visiting the USA.

Well, I will battle on with the USPS, but right now I must get the cat to her boarding place, and then the dog to his, and then head south to Boston.

Here is a copy of the new poster just released:

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Sean Sunday, 29 June 2014

I just finished reading the quartet--after having read The Giver about 12yrs ago--and it was a great read! Can't wait to see the movie, in which I will be paying special attention to that last scene that you had SO much fun with lol. I'd assume you're probably done with that world for now--the world of The Giver--but, would u ever consider telling the story of what happened to The Community after the memories were released? After finishing Son, I would guess the Community would be more like Village. Just a guess. By the way, I love the mystery surrounding the fact that The Giver hints at the story taking place in the future, but as the story progresses, the reader learns how different the "future" looks depending on where the characters are.

I am 12 years old, and I write short stories.
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Elizabeth Tuesday, 21 October 2014

In my opinion, the Giver's community, the main place in which it takes place, is the future gone wrong. But nice job trying to make it a utopia world.:)

Phil Schmitt
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Phil Schmitt Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hello Ms. Lowry:)

I read "The Giver" when I was 14 and it is the single-most piece of literature that stands out to me when I look back on my youth (I am now 32). I really appreciate your work and everything you put into it.

I do have a question with regard to this post. I'm wondering about the voiceover content in the movie. While I understand many things had to be changed for the adaptation (characters, conflict, plot and timing), one of the things I'm most curious about is the potential similarities and differences in the overall theme between the book and movie. There are two passages in the movie that I feel depart heavily from the book that I'll share here:

--towards the middle, during a dream sharing montage--
"Have Faith," the Giver told me. We'd been told the Chief Elder knew everything. Things nobody else did. But I had learned knowing what something is is not the same as knowing how something feels. I got lost. The good kind of lost. I saw sights and sounds I had no words to describe. Faces with flesh of all different colors. I felt so alive. This was forbidden? I didn't know what to think, what to believe. "Have Faith the Giver told me..." He said, "Faith, that was seeing beyond." He compared it to the wind, something felt but not seen."

--and later, to the end of the movie--
"When I went over the edge, we shouldn't have made it. This was Miracle. The Giver had talked about them."

If part of your intent with the sub-text of the book was spiritual in nature, you made the case for it very softly and subtly and in a way I found quite mature and rewarding. The movie took a very different approach to this and I'm wondering if the voiceovers and their content, in particular, were influenced by test audience screenings and the opinions gathered thereby. Are the influenced parts only what appeared at the very end, as you hint at here? The voiceovers in general are laid over the top, any of it could have been changed close to the release of the film.

I'm hoping you might elaborate on this just a bit. Of course, I understand why you may be reticent to do so, but it would excite me greatly if you would (my movie group is doing a discussion this weekend, it would knock their socks off if I could bring back a tasty morsel straight from the author herself:)) Thank you dearly, Phil

Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Thursday, 18 December 2014

Interesting that you asked that question. Yes, it....the VO....was a source of a lot of discussion and dissension in the later stages of post-production on the film. I personally think voiceovers are most often a crutch and frequently quite heavy-handed. I argued against it, and lost. If you were to see the emails that went back and forth you would be amused. Later, after the film was released, Harvey Weinsten was interviewed on the Today Show and said, of me: "She was very cantankerous." And that was true. But: so be it. I did think that some of what they did....particularly the visual element of the memories received by the boy....were stunning. But there were other things I wish they had done differently.

Ah, when I rule the world....!


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