Words can Kill – The use of Dialogue

For this review, time was of an essence, so I watched a short ( and for those who are not aware sign up to http://www.shortoftheweek.com for some amazing short films.

https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2018/04/18/writers-workshop/

Writer’s Workshop (2018) is an 11 minute dark comedy written and directed by Ryan Frances Johnson about Jeremy an aspiring writer attending a writers class.  Having attending many of these, I can relate. Though I have been writing into the decades now, it was only recently at a writer’s workshop was my first piece made ‘public’. Awaiting the response is nail biting it’s your baby, a part of you, that you are putting put there. And it doesn’t matter who comments if they are negative it hurts, and yes despite all the advice you will take it personally and believe you have failed at life! Fact!

At the end of the day write how you want to if it’s for your benefit, writing can be therapeutic, and if you are aiming for loft ‘Rowling’ heights, be aware of what you are writing, take a class of two learn structure, character development, story arc, etc learn to give and take criticism.

FAIL. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL MORE.

Don’t get comfy be knocked back, but use it to learn from and develop, re-read your work whether it’s an aspiring novel or script and ask if the feedback was deserved.

Be critical of your own work,  make a template tick box for what your writing project should contain and tick it off when each part has been achieved.

The best advice given to me, was read it aloud, just to yourself, and if you can record it. Listen. Does it flow?

Have faith, you will get there.

So getting on to my 200 word max review of dialogue (the morning coffee has kicked in); * Spoiler Alert*

Writer’s workshop (2018) is heavily dialogued. Jeremy himself doesn’t have too much to say after reading his words, but just to sit back, grin and bear it.

The realism throughout the dialogue is obviously helped with the actor’s playing it straight.   The opening after Jeremy’s reading is an actual question that will need actual responses from, that are more than one liners. The extended dialogue has been set up with this.

Add drama and dark humour with in each line, and the characters personality is already being developed, Although we get told not to repeat information, it is repeated here and often. It builds a dramatic momentum until Clark is smothered at his own request.

Clarity and context is evident, we know that each critic means it metaphorically (or do they?), and as writer’s we relate, each character has expressed, as requested their viewpoint, the initial question has been answered.

Jeremey nodding and smiling understands when they welcome Clark and his poetry, that it wasn’t personal and that they will all repeat their constructive criticism again.

Sometimes dialogue is just that words, but here they have been used perfectly in keeping with what I remember from writer’s workshops.

 

 

Keep writing! M.

 

“One Batch Two Batch…”

Daredevil Season 2 Episode 4 Penny and Dime  –

Dir: Peter Hoar; Written By: John C. Kelly

We watch film and TV to escape, to forget and also to grow.  Through these characters we according to Cohen (2013:183), expand are own ’emotional and mental lives’ beyond that of personal experience.  We identify with both the characters and their situation, we empathise with them and understand their goals, we make a connection, become invested in their outcome and are interest is caught.

Netflix’s, Marvel’s Daredevil second antagonist, Frank Castle, is a war veteran, a US marine corps sniper, he has taken out entire gangs. We know he is dangerous.

Karen, a reporter is at Castle’s home. A regular family home with photos of his wife and kids in various stages of growing up, of castle in fatigues, a medal of Honour proudly displayed,  a book is in his daughters room, the words emblazoned on the pages, the words Castle says before he pulls the trigger “One Batch Two Batch”, his daughters favourite book.  We recognise the kids trainers on the stairs, the box of kid’s toys, we too have family photo’s on the mantlepiece.

Rescued by Daredevil, Castle tells of the murder of his family by a gang in a park. We empathise with him, this could have been any family, this has never happened to you, but your gut wrenches too, we cry.  We understand his needs and goals, we want revenge too.

The story feels real, you have felt raw emotion, mirrored the feelings on screen. He maybe on a rampage, but he has damn good reason. He maybe seen as the antagonist to the vigilante Daredevil but he isn’t evil, he isn’t your typical bad guy. And because of this you have a strong connection for him to get his revenge, to see his goal through to the end, you want it to be alright for him. You have connected, you are invested as much as Castle. You have identified with the character and his situation.

As Cohen (2013:186) points out this is an active psychological state, just one of the many ways we respond to film and TV.

 

 Cohen J. (2013). Chapter 11. Audience Identification with media characters in  Jennings, Bryant and Vorderer, Peter.(eds)  Psychology of Entertainment. London. Routledge