I was researching for my reflective essay on the screenwriting and I came across a quote that sums up a bad screenplay. I had to share it because it also puts the problems with my dialogue in a nutshell.
“Is that your green-eyed blonde younger sister crossing the dual carriageway over there?”
From Rib Davies, “Writing Dialogue for Scripts” 2002
This makes the problem with dialogue so obvious. It just isn’t real. Instead you would have to have a character introduce the sister or have a greeting between two people but it is just really tricky. You don’t need the audio description as a screenplay is a visual medium, even if you only see it as visual writing. I have found that if I want to create a realistic scene then I must make it as close to real life as possible. I have also found out that the scene in The Full Monty, where they are dancing in the dole queue, was almost cut because they believed it wouldn’t happen in real life!
This shocked me. It has to be one of the more memorable scenes. But I suppose it is dependant on where you have stood in a queue. I remember standing and all the mums doing a gig to a 1980’s pop song whilst waiting for their child benefit money.
My lecturer says that a screenplay is not about what is said but what isn’t. He says that the visuals are just as important, if not more important, than the dialogue. When I first started working on the screenplay I was worried – how do you create a look from one character to another? The task seemed just too big. To direct not only speech but also actions and facial expressions. But you don’t have to. All you have to do is highlight the most important. And don’t forget to go back over the dialogue and make sure that you go back and edit. Less is more…
Now I just have to apply it to my own screenplay!