Issue 4 - Of Vision and Voice

When adding your voice, stay true to the vision.


We all have our voice. As artists, we spend years and countless hours honing and finessing the fine tuned nature of our voices. As we should. This is an important process. One necessary to learn who we are as artists. Which I touch on in this week’s Medium article.

Our artistic voice shapes our work. It gives rise to and informs our own personal style. And our style can be developed into signatures that end up fingerprinting our work to those eagle-eyed members of our audience.

That style carries our voice to and through the work. And we need to be mindful, so as to be intentional with what we are saying within our various projects as much as across them all.


Your voice and your style, are informed and can be shaped by your perspective on the world. This means, by injecting our voice and style to a project, we are making it unique and something special.

You’ve no doubt heard the familiar calling card of the noncreative decrying how there is no originality left. That every story under the sun, has been told. And that every story out there is virtually a rehashing (or rebooting) of another.

Wrong. Do not pass Go! Do not collect $200 dollars.

While it is true that stories can typically be boiled down to a “type” or reduced to familiar arcs, that does by no means confirm this idea. Yes, there are plot fundamentals that tend to loosely define the format of a story, but that doesn’t limit anyone’s creativity or original takes on a topic.

When you bring your style and voice to any topic, no matter how deeply explored or covered in popular media, you are bringing originality and a unique perspective. Your own. And that cannot be replicated or reproduced.

You, in this time of your telling of the story, have never before existed. Never has any one person been shaped by the hands of time and experience like you have. So never before has anyone been able to bring what you will to a story.


This is not just a matter of writing ourselves into the story, as many a writer throughout time and popular canon have been prone to do. This is about the choices your characters make, their journey, and how those things align with you.

Our world view is hard to divorce from the way our particular works view the world. It bleeds into the fabric of the universes we create and imagine, because our perspective gets woven into each piece we authentically voice.

It’s inescapable. And if our work views the world a certain way, then our characters inhabiting that world are going to have to confront and navigate it with all its familiar pitfalls and circumstances. The landscapes will be like our own.

This also means the dimension given to our story through this vocalization of self, is uniquely ours. We have shaped this journey with our voice.


This can become somewhat tricky ground to run when you are adapting someone else’s story. Taking their vision to another format. You want to insert your style, have that voice present, but it shouldn’t overtake the original vision.

Ideally, they should work together. So be mindful of that which you are honoring. Try to give it new life on the screen, as it were in our case with the “Luckey Quarter” adaptation, while maintaining its essence. Its core.

Cards on the table, while in the book the story is relatively straight forward and somewhat lacking in the supernatural elements, I did take some liberties in that regard, by engraining the tale with bit more of the dark, mysterious and magical.

But I kept the heart of the story intact, and the basic fundamental building blocks of it were applied to all of the additions, to keep things thematically on par while bringing a bit more of the scary to the plot.

Never straying from the story’s core, Darlene. A single mother working hard to make ends meet, living a life of large amounts of self sacrifice and practically devoid of any reward. A mother’s love and sacrifice staying in sharp focus.


When expanding on the story and bringing my voice and style to it, I also made sure to keep things grounded and bound to the world according to the man who built them.

And I say them, because I leaned on my knowledge of his storytelling oeuvre at large, to feel like I was keeping things in the “realm of possibility” as far as King’s expansive universes were concerned.

Which, for King, pretty much meant anything and everything was possible. I mean, let’s be honest, the man doesn’t tend to pull any creative punches or fail to take any imaginative leaps in his works.

But again, I didn’t want to stray too far off the beaten path. The path the author had laid out, that is.


In the end, you want the journey to be reflective of your perspective and understanding of the world. But while being able to feel the original foundation still firmly beneath the characters’ feet.

Under normal circumstances, the last thing you want is for the original author of the story to disavow and wash their hands of your interpretation of the work. Unless you’re say an Ed Neumeier adapting Starship Troopers that is.

But that is something you need to determine at the start of the journey. What sort of adaptation are you making? Are you honoring it, or satirizing the original work? Because if it is satire, then you can pretty much disregard most of that push for “alignment of original vision”.

It should break down like this:

  • Pick a Direction (satire or not)

  • Fully Understand the Story

  • Identify the Beats

  • Remix with Style

  • Keep its Rhythms

  • Stay in Your Lane


I keep saying honoring the original because this should not necessarily be looked at as an opportunity to make it “better”, but more just about translating to a new medium. And perhaps, in turn, reaching a new audience with it.

When we make a conscious decision to set forth to improve on the original, it comes from a place of ego. Thinking that for some reason, we can tell the story better than the person who originally came up with and crafted it.

But when we come from the mindset of honoring the work that inspired us, we start from more favored and friendly spaces. It should be less about ego, and more about reverence. 

This is not to say that one cannot address common critiques of the original when setting out. Not wanting to fall into the same traps or problematic areas that people have argued exist in the original story is not what we are talking about.

In those instances, we are not making the decision as to what we feel needs to be improved or altered, we are listening to the general response and feedback given about the original, and making adjustments based on that.

Luckily for us, in the case of “Luckey Quarter,” we didn’t run into anything like that with the original story. The only reason more of a supernatural bent was added to the tale, wasn’t to improve anything. It’s because it’s a King.

And I was determined that if I was going to tell a King story, I wanted there to be a dash of horror, because well, it’s a King. It wasn’t a matter of ego, it was me not being able to let go of how much this titan of terror shaped my artistic voice.


Stephen King is a major reason that I am the horror fan and filmmaker that I am. In my formative years films like Stand by Me, Creepshow, Firestarter, and Maximum Overdrive were present long before I recognized that they were his stories.

So by the time I started reading his books (at too early an age) adaptations of his work were already rooting themselves deep in my psyche. Giving my own artistic voice a touch of the macabre.

I cut my teeth on the worlds of Stephen King, so getting the opportunity to adapt one of his stories is the stuff of dreams. As a filmmaker, you set yourself creative or career goals and milestones of sorts.

This most definitely ranks as one of those for me. This is a dream come true, and I appreciate all who are following and supporting this dream with us. The crowdfunding campaign is launching soon, so keep an eye out!