The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary

About the Making of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie

Cover Art of The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney
Amulet Books, An Imprint of Abrams

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An Overview

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary combines the diary format and clever drawings of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, with additional sketches and lots of color photographs, in this third-person account of the making of the movie version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Highlights

Jeff Kinney, who not only wrote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series but also served as executove producer of the film, begins with the story of how the Wimpy Kid character, Greg Heffley, was “born” and includes lots of his early sketches while at the same time covering the birth and early years of the young actor who plays the part of Greg, Zach Gordon.

Kinney then recounts the differing viewpoints of Hollywood executives on what the movie should be like, the initial drafts of the script and the hiring of the director.

He describes the search for the perfect young actors to portray Greg and his friend Rowley and their screen test. Kinney includes sketches and essays by the young actors about the character each was to portray, which provide insight as to what they thought about their characters.

Kinney goes on to describe all that goes into making a movie, from casting the rest of the actors and hiring the crew to determining the filming location. He shows examples of the sets and props created by the set designers, decorators and art department. He also discusses the importance of continuity in costumes and sets for scenes that may be shot out of order and at different times. By book’s end, readers will not only know a great deal about how movies are made, they will also know a lot about what making a movie is like for the young actors.

Regrets

Before they read The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, I asked three fans of the The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, series - a 10, 11 and 13 year old - what they hoped the book would include.
They wanted to know how the characters were different in the movie, how the movie was made and what the author’s opinion of it all was. While I think Jeff Kinney did a good job with the first two, I was disappointed that more of his own voice didn’t come through. I think that The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary would have been a more interesting book had it been written in the first person and had Kinney spent more time expressing his feelings about what it was like to see his book become a movie.

Author Jeff Kinney and His Books

Jeff Kinney developed his own comic strip, "Igdoof," for the school newspaper while he was a student at the University of Maryland.
After college, Kinney began writing a Diary of a Wimpy Kid comic, putting it online in daily installments. Subsequently, publisher Harry N. Abrams signed Kinney to a multi-book deal to create a Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for the Amulet Books imprint. The first book in the series, was published in 2007 and immediately became wildly popular with upper elementary and middle school students. Now the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books also include:

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: My Recommendation

While I think that to get much out of The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, you need to have read one or more of the books in the series, you don’t need to have seen the movie to enjoy the book. I recommend The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary for Wimpy Kid fans of all ages.

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