Conversions and Conversations

If you know the words “Good morning Hank!” and “Good morning John!” and where they come from, you’re probably part of the internet culture known collectively as Nerdfighteria. Brothers Hank and John Green have used internet vlogging as a medium to create things of awesome such as the Project for Awesome, an online charity event, and VidCon, a real life convention for YouTubers to meet with their fans on the other side of the screen.

However, it can be said that John Green is a much higher profile name. Known not only for his online hijinks, John Green is a New York Times Bestseller and a recipient of the Michael L. Printz award, the highest honor for authors of young adult literature. He has created such classics such as Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines that are loved by teens across the globe.

However, his most recent novel has been making more buzz than usual. In January 2012 John released his book The Fault in Our Stars, a realistic fiction about the joys and trials of teens with cancer. Inspired by his time as a chaplain straight out of college, The Fault in Our Stars was literally a project 10 years in the making. His hard work paid off – The Fault in Our Stars spent a year on the New York Times Bestseller list, and his publisher Penguin rented out Carnegie Hall for him to celebrate in January 2013.

This in itself is any authors dream, but fans clamored for more. And now, John is jumping from the small screen of the internet to the big screen. The Fault in Our Stars just wrapped up filming in Pittsburgh, briefly relocating to the beautiful city of Amsterdam, and is expecting a 2014 release. Yet again, John is making headlines with big names being attached to the project such as Golden Globe nominee Shaliene Woodley and seasoned actor Willam Dafoe.

On the TFIOS Movie Set

Currently, John is posting photos from the set, exciting fans and critics alike. And this is where I come in. A longtime fan of John’s work, I could not be more excited for this movie. But with every book to movie adaptation, I have met the news with a skeptical eye. I want the book to be represented well, as I saw with The Hunger Games, but I also want it to be an amazing standalone work, as with The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

But with all of the support from John and all of his pictures, tweets, and videos from the set, my mind has been put at ease. And I’m noticing a common trend. From the incorporation of real teen cancer survivors in the cast of prominent extras, to the recent wall of fan art that has been made for the book, I see the book mirrored in the filming. This time, I’m not talking about the fact that this is an adaptation – I’m seeing this duplication in the process of creating. John poured his soul into this book, and has said so on multiple occasions, and I see the same with the director and producers of the movie. They are incorporating what made the book so amazing – passion and realism mixed together to form something beautiful between producer and consumer. As encouraged by John, The Fault in Our Stars transcended the words on the page, becoming a conversation between the reader and author. And that’s what made this book so special, and what I think will be the defining characteristic for this adaptation.

I have never been more excited to dive back into this world again, and to have a new, fresh conversation as I sit in the theatre next year.

For more pictures from the set of TFIOS visit John’s twitter; for more about the Vlogbrothers and their various projects, visit their shared YouTube channel.