James Dashner’s Essay on THE EYE OF MINDS

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Read more about what inspired author James Dashner to write his new book, The Eye of Minds, book one of The Mortality Doctrine.

It’s easy for me to pinpoint the very first glimmer of inspiration I had for The Eye of Minds. I love movies, and there are two movies that easily fall into my Top Ten Movies of All Time list, which is more of a concept than an actual list. (I think it currently has about 20 movies on it and it isn’t written down anywhere other than in my mind.)  Those two movies are Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, and The Matrix, directed by the Wachowskis.  These are what I call “event” movies—films that blew me away and stayed with me, still to this day. Some of the concepts presented in those films stuck in my mind, and definitely inspired my thought process as I came up with the story for The Eye of Minds.

To read the rest of the essay, click here.

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James Dashner On THE MAZE RUNNER Movie and THE EYE OF MINDS Book

During the San Diego Comic-Con, James Dashner spent some time with Hypable to talk both about the movie adaptation of his book, The Maze Runner, as well as his new book, The Eye of Minds, which is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine trilogy.

Hypable: How did you feel when you found out ‘The Maze Runner’ film was finally going ahead?

James Dashner: It was part ecstatic and part relief. About three years ago, we got really close. We had a director, a screenplay, but it all kind of fell apart – which happens in Hollywood a lot. I was much more level-headed when it started happening again.

I tempered my expectations, but when the ball really got rolling, I knew that was happening when all the producers had a conference call with me. Then Wes Ball, the director, called me, and I was like “Okay, it’s happening.” Since then, I have been on Cloud 9.

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How did it feel to see the characters that you wrote standing there in real life?

There’s so much relief with it. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I have disagreed with all the choices, or if they were butchering my book or my vision. I agree and support everything about this film.

I love the casting, I love the script, I love Wes’ vision for it. The tone and the spirit of the movie, it’s almost too good to be true. I am extremely satisfied and happy about it.

Were you involved in the casting process?

A little. From the get go, it was a cool relationship. They wanted me involved, they were very good about reaching out to me. By the same token, I understand that that’s not my expertise. So it worked out perfectly – I was involved, and I felt involved, but I never tried to be heavy-handed or enforce anything.

I was involved, but on a small scale. Wes has been really awesome about staying in touch, asking me questions, asking for my feedback. I think he has taken a lot of that feedback when it worked for him.

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Was there any casting that was not how you had pictured the character?

Yeah. It’s all about matching the spirit of it. Frypan was not how I literally envisioned him, but everyone else pretty much was.

When I think of Minho, and Thomas, and Alby – and especially Chuck. Chuck is like he literally stepped out of the pages of the book, it’s almost eerie.

And with Teresa, I was really surprised. I don’t really describe her in too much detail, the hair colour and maybe the eye colour, and then leave it up to the reader’s imagination, but somehow, I saw her and thought “That’s Teresa.”

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Exclusive Comic-Con Interview with THE MAZE RUNNER Author James Dashner

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James Dashner was at Comic-Con this year for his 2nd venture into the crazy convention.  I was able to snag a few minutes with him to talk about The Maze Runner movie and a little bit about the main character in his upcoming book, The Eye of Minds.

I attended the Maze Runner Conversation for a Cause even at the Nerd HQ the day before, so I was fortunate enough to be one of the 250 people that were there to see the raw footage of the movie, as well as ask Dylan O’Brien the first question during the panel.

The Maze Runner at NerdHQ 2013James did note before we got started on the interviewing part, that he actually had more questions directed to him than to Dylan (His agent told him that most questions would probably be fielded to the Teen Wolf star.  But this was a Maze Runner panel, after all).

What I’ve found about James is that he’s just an all around amazing (fan)guy, with a fondness for movies and the word “amazing”, and he’s probably one of my favorite authors to have ever chatted with.

In regards to the raw footage that was shown during the panel, he apparently was just as floored as I was, and probably everyone else, too.

Oh man! I saw about half of what you guys saw about a week before you did, so half- this is a terrible way to put this… it’s like the thing Bilbo says in Lord of the Rings- half of what you saw, I was seeing for the first time.

[Don’t worry, I got what he meant.]

So, sitting up there, I don’t know if people could tell, but I got emotional.  I was fighting back tears.  The fact that it was so raw, it’s literally just the initial filming – there’s no special effects whatsoever yet, except they did add the wall to that one scene.  I just- it’s just blowing me away.  I cannot believe how much they’ve captured my vision.

So, was it as you expected or more than you expected as far as how it look?  Because to me it was more than what I had imagined.

That’s an interesting way to put it, because it is more than I imagined, which, this sounds dumb, but I mean that is obviously a good thing.  It’s almost like, I get this feeling that the movie is going to be better than the book.  (we both laugh at the prospect)  I’m so thrilled with it, it’s like his vision for this movie is just incredible.

I, like you, was flipping out over the raw footage of The Maze Runner.  I seriously almost cried.  I don’t cry during trailers, as much as I love the books, but something about the way that the actors portrayed the characters, there was not a lot of dialogue in that footage, but what you saw was the emotion.

You just nailed what struck me.  I have yet to see, on film, a word of dialogue because they haven’t done sound editing yet.  Everything has just been footage with music added, which is amazing because I have seen more emotion and acting and feeling and all that without any dialogue.  I can’t imagine when they add the dialogue.  I have a really strong feeling that this movie is going to be special.

Being that James had only visited the set twice and had only spent a day and a half there during actual filming, it probably wasn’t fair to ask for his opinion of the actors’ performances, but he did note a couple of people that stuck out for him while he was there, and what stuck out to him in general.

Well, first of all, it blew me away on two different fronts.  I love movies, as anyone knows who follows me, so just to be on a movie set and see them actually filming scenes – by itself, was just special.  Like, crazy amazing for me.  And then you throw in this little thing that it’s my book, it’s like a double whammy.  I almost couldn’t handle it.

tmr-gally-character-chat-croppedI was really struck by Will Poulter [Gally], mainly because he’s the one that I saw do more of an individual thing, and it was pretty brief, but it was amazing.  And then the majority of what I saw was actually Patricia Clarkson, the Oscar nominee who’s playing Ava Paige.  I cannot overstate how lucky we were to get her into the movie, so her appearance in the first movie will be pretty brief, but absolutely spectacular.  She really adds a lot, and seeing her film her scenes was… amazing.  How many times have I used the word ‘amazing’?  I need to think of another one.

I suggested various comparable adjectives, which we chuckled over and to which he’d said he’d use in the future.

Read more on the interview after the jump!

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