I’ve been reading a lot of scripts recently and there’s one problem which keeps cropping up – mobile bloody phones.
Mobile phones exist, people use them. Okay, I get that. Watching a character run all over town instead of just phoning ahead is fucking ridiculous to watch; but conversely, watching two people argue using mobiles is fucking tedious.
Phones are drama condoms; they weaken the tension and lessen the intensity – if two people are having an argument, for fuck’s sake just put them in the same room.
Okay, so if one character’s in danger and the other person can only hear the danger over the phone, can’t help and doesn’t know the outcome – that’s dramatic and tense … but if they’re arguing with each other – Christ. Just put them in the same room! I want to see them scream at each other, I want to see how one person reacts when he sees how his words affect the other person. Flecks of gob should hit the other person’s face! Don’t fucking separate them.
Physical separation is bad. Eye contact is good. Stop taking the safe option – you’re a writer. Your job is to make your characters go through hell – do nothing to help alleviate that hell. Don’t help them. Don’t go easy on them. And for fuck’s sake don’t have the tense, complicated bits happen off screen! That’s not using a condom, that’s letting someone else have the sex for you.
Goddamn it, I want my drama on screen, in front of me with lots of shouting. SHOUT! Get angry. Or cry. Or cringe in fear, just be Goddamn dramatic. Face to face, eye to eye! Make those shiftless, work-shy actors earn their fucking money!
Unleash hell! In person!
Phones. Are. Bad.
Except when they’re not.
Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.