Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I just hung out with John Green: Ten things I learned about #TFIOS and more


Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort/ The Fault in Our Stars 
Photo Source: Clever.com

It was just me - and several thousand John Green fans - hanging out with John via the 20th Century FOX TFIOS Hangout with John Green. It's all part of the The Fault in Our Stars hullabaloo but Green is such an articulate and affable guy that hearing what he says about both his book and the film makes the basically self-serving promo worthwhile. 

The so-called 'hangout' is a few minutes shy of an hour but TFIOS fans and John Green readers in general should enjoy it.

Here's ten things I learned sorta hanging out with John:

John Green's favorite TFIOS quote ...
"My faults are stars I can't fathom into constellations."

He hates it when...
Hollywood takes a story and tries to make it palatable to a really broad audience. Green is excited about the movie because he was on set the entire time it was being shot in both Philadelphia and Amsterdam and says they didn't do that with what could be a tricky story to tell about a couple of sick kids falling in love. Green really felt everyone wanted to be there and brought a tremendous desire to get it right. He's seen the film in its entirety and thinks it's one of the most faithful book adaptations he's seen. 

On the subject of the Creation ...
Not that one, the creation of a book. He believes author and reader co-create a novel, and that each reading is different because of what we, the reader, bring to it. We decide what to skim and what to re-read. We bring life to his words and 'each time a book is read, it's co-created differently.

Green likes ... 
'the weird crazy idea' that some infinities are bigger than others. He calls the idea of boundlessness really lovely. He says infinity isn't such a big number, it's more about the idea of 'endlessness', that kind of infinity really is a beautiful, all encompassing idea.

Other Young Adult books he loves... 
Meg Rossoff's  How I Live Now, (I missed the limited release of the film with Saoirse Ronan in the fall of 2013) and the book Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I'm sure there are others, I zoned out:(

About Writers Block ...
his dad told him carpenters don't get to get carpenter's block and coal miners don't get to get coal miners block. It's work. 

He's just like most writers ...
He wishes the book were better, wishes he'd succeeded more in achieving his own goals but it is what is and there's comfort in not being able to make changes. It's done.

He's not very visual ...
Green says he pictures the world in words, not pictures. Can you see "Okay?" "Okay" floating around in his head?

Green was NOT a fan of The Great Gatsby in high school ....
In the hands of a generous reader, the right book can become magical. You have to watch this just to see what he says about his initial rather ungenerous reading of The Great Gatsby - about 45 minutes in if you're skimming.

AND 

There will not be a sequel to The Fault in Our Stars ...
There will not be, I repeat, NOT be, a sequel to The Fault in Our Stars. No matter how much TFIOS movie producer Wyck Godfrey wants one. He has no intention of writing a sequel to The Fault in Our Stars so quit asking. And that includes a telling of the Van Houten's fictional An Imperial Affliction, Hazel's favorite novel. NOT happening.

My take: Of course it's a no-brainer from the Hollywood side of things; The Fault in Our Stars was/is a mega YA bestseller, fans of the book have devoured every little nugget the filmmakers have released from pictures of Shailene's haircut to play Hazel, to the low res leaked trailer which prompted 20the Century Fox to release the real trailer earlier than planned. That trailer has had over 11 million views and over 200,000 likes, which John explains is an incredibly high volume of views and likes. Godfrey and 20th Century Fox are looking at The Fault in Our Stars as a guaranteed hit; even if the film were to be a massive fail, the built in audience is so primed and ready for it, nothing will keep them out of the seats. So while Green is definitely 1000% certain he has no interest in writing a sequel, Hollywood has 1000% interest in making one.

Take a gander at the video, do you come away with any nuggets you want to chat about?



The Fault in Our Stars is set to come out June 6th. The Josh Boone directed film stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Woolf, Laura Dern, Sam Trammel, William Defoe and Mike Birbiglia. 

For more THE FAULT IN OUR STARS news, check out my TFIOS FILE page.
And one more thing I learned ... Green's cameo in the film was cut. The author says it's a much better movie without it. 

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