Explore how filmmakers bring characters to life in this video from MASTERPIECE: “David Copperfield.” David’s first encounter with his cruel stepfather, Mr. Murdstone, shatters his idyllic childhood and begins his journey to adulthood. Students learn about how Dickens’s life inspired the novel, as well as the filmmakers’ craft in bringing the characters to life. Mr. Murdstone’s physical and psychological power over the innocent, vulnerable David echoes Dickens’s own experiences.
Explore how Dickens’s skill in creating memorable secondary characters help make his works not only memorable, but has kept them popular for more than 160 years in this video excerpt from the MASTERPIECE adaptation of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield. Wilkins Micawber does more than provide comic relief. He is a kindly father figure to David and offers an important respite for David on his way to adulthood.
Analyze the filmmakers’ choices when adapting a Dickens novel into a film. In this pivotal scene from the 2000 MASTERPIECE production of "David Copperfield," David, destitute and desperate, approaches his formidable Aunt Betsey for the first time. The director and screenwriter had to make tough choices about what to keep and what to change or delete. As students analyze the scene by comparing Dickens’s original text with the film adaption, they explore the challenges that confront filmmakers when interpreting a literary work for the screen.