Posted by : May 8, 2008
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I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark again, in anticipation of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s remarkable how many things Lucas & Spielberg did right in crafting their iconic hero. The whip and the fedora, the fedora which especially works well and the exploit a lot through the use of silhouette and shadows on the wall in various scenes. But those are physical/appearance characteristics, while important, do not necessarily reveal tics of character.
“I hate snakes.” You know what I’m talking about. This one simple line, and littering the first movie with snakes that Indy can react to, gives the audience a quality they can identify with and latch onto in the hero.
Posted by : April 18, 2008
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There’s this thing that movies and TV do from time to time. Sometimes it’s a trick used across sequels. They’ll have characters trade places and sometimes lines. Depending on how it’s done, I tend to like it.
In The Bourne Identity, when Bourne shoots the assassin played by Clive Owen, as the assassin is dying he says to Bourne, “Look at what they make you give.”
In the third movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, as Bourne finally discovers the truth of his identity and is forced into a showdown, he says, “Look at what they make you give.” I thought it was clever that they had Bourne come full circle and echo Clive Owen’s line from the first movie.
Posted by : April 16, 2008
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I’ve been saying my lines out loud as I type them. It helps a lot, like instant proofreading. More than that, it insures that the reader will believe a real person is talking. Dialogue I hate the most is when I’m watching a movie or a TV show and the character delivers some clumsy line. I wonder, “Who talks like that?” The answer is nobody. But I’m sure the writer thought it looked okay on paper.
It’s not about how the words look on paper. It’s about how they sound out loud. More so for a screenplay, but even for a novel. A lot of people mouth words as they read, or they hear them in their head as they track the lines across the page. Something that doesn’t work when you say it becomes instantly obvious.
An example peeve of mine is two characters who already know each other well addressing each other by first name with everything they say. “Hey Jack, hand me that screwdriver.” And then, “Thanks Jack.” or “Jack, later do you want to grab a beer?” Think about it. Do you use a friend’s name a lot when you’re around them? That’s the kind of thing that probably seems correct on paper but sounds wrong when you say it out loud.
The only downside to saying dialogue out loud as you type it is that you may want to refrain from writing in coffee shops. The staff and other customers might think you’re crazy. :)
I don’t have to worry about mumbling in front of my wife. She already knows I’m crazy.