This is fairly obvious perhaps. As with the last weird thought, this wasn’t a toilet thought but it could have been.
The contrast between how people talk in films and how people talk in real life is vast. Yesterday afternoon I was transcribing conversations I’d had with visitors to Powis Castle about their visit and I was struck by how jumbled up and incomplete their sentences were, and mine too. Here’s an example:
Ah well we’re in a hurry. We’ve got to get to Lancashire by 5pm. But my impression. The furniture. The furniture, yes, is stunning. The favourite, loved the Thomas Tomkin clock and the enormous table. One guide said, there are two Thomas Tomkin clocks, they are both gorgeous.
See what I mean?
So later on that evening as I was watching Serenity I was struck with how eloquently (and concisely) the people in the film were speaking to each other. They were in the middle of a space crisis with dramatic music and lots of noise yet every word, every sentence was loaded with either significance or wit. Every sentence was grammatically perfect. There were no ‘errr’s or ‘umms’ at all. They spoke colloquially (which is part of the charm of the whole Firefly / Serenity thing), but perfectly. That’s not real.
I understand why this is so though, they are actors reciting a script that was written by some chap sat at a computer and when you are sat at a computer creating dialogue you have time to construct good sentences. In fact, you want them to be loaded with significance and wit or the film wouldn’t be interesting.
Still, a happy medium would be better I think. I want to believe that the people in the film are real and that their space battles are as relevant as current-day crises such as the Internet has stopped working, the car has a puncture, the cat has vomited all over my foot etc. Perhaps I need to try to speak more eloquently with significance and wit the next time that happens to me.
June 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm
Eloquence in films is a choice that the director and screenwriter make. Serenity and Firefly have a distinct style to their dialogue. Other films have a more naturalistic feel to them – Woody Allen’s films are witty, but don’t sound polished. And then you have films that are partly or entirely improvised (or made to sound as if they’re improvised) – Before Sunrise, Reality Bites or Me and You and Everyone We Know, for example.