From his legendary 1962 marathon interview sessions with François Truffaut:
There's been a lot of talk about the way in which Hollywood directors distort literary masterpieces. I'll have no part of that! What I do is to read a story only once, and if I like the basic idea, I just forget all about the book and start to create cinema. Today I would be unable to tell you the story of Daphne du Maurier's The Birds. I read it only once, and very quickly at that. An author takes three or four years to write a fine novel; it's his whole life. Then other people take it over completely.
Have you noticed that masters of their craft, the Hitchcocks and Lovecrafts and Gaimans and so forth, inherently get this concept, that the idea is larger than the individual it originates with?