In a recent Scriptnotes Postcast, John and Craig talk about dialogue, it’s history, and it’s importance. They largely discuss how the world of film, television, and radio revolve around dialogue. When “talkies” were invented, acting shifted to become more about speech, rather than exaggerated movements. Before streaming television was so popular, a large amount of network television shows had breaks built into the dialogue, and even repetitions for people who may not have been in the room or who were just tuning into the program. The way I see it, dialogue (along with the acting accompanying it) are high-priority, key elements of any traditional piece of T.V. or film. The pair also bring up an often-made “rookie mistake” that dialogue shouldn’t structurally be like two monologues that get cut off and interjected to one another at random points, but rather they should “fit like velcro” and mesh very purposefully and naturally. This is excellent advice for anyone (myself included) who is looking to write for film or television, as dialogue can make or break audience attention. They also spend a chunk of time discussing “discourse markers”, which until this point, I never knew there was a word for. I use these “small acknowledgements” every single day, and they can actually help dialogue flow better and sound more natural, which is something I never considered.

Advertisements