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One of the biggest challenges for filmmakers was showing Joey’s emotional journey as he is taken from his comfortable farm life with Albert to the terrors of the trenches in war torn France. In the novel, the story is told using the first person narrative from the point of view of Joey, so the reader understands the horse’s thoughts and emotions.

The play and film, however, take a different approach. In the play, Nick Stafford (playwright) decided to use a puppet to recreate Joey on stage. The puppeteers are able to give the horse a range of emotions through careful use of body language.

The novelist and the playwright use a range of literary and stylistic conventions to show how the bond of friendship between Joey and Albert grows. Their friendship develops in stages:

How could you show this bond of friendship as a scene in a film? With a partner, talk about exactly what should happen in the scene and what emotions you would need to convey this.

Now create an example of how that scene can be shown through film. Many filmmakers like to use a storyboard to plan this out. Use this storyboard to plan your ideas:

Download storyboard:

Storyboard (PDF)