Films, plays and thoughts.

So, we reach the second week of 2013 blogging and I’m leaving it a bit late!

How is 2013 going? Good? Lovely.

Today I submitted my master’s degree application and now have to wait until mid-March to hear anything from them. The next two months of the blog will probably be me freaking out about it. I really want to get onto the course, mainly because I feel I have so much more to learn. The course I have applied for doesn’t just focus on fiction, but on screenwriting, playwriting and poetry as well. I have always wanted to write a play (I’m sure I mentioned it on here a long time ago) but have no idea how to go about it. The formatting is probably much the same as a film but the technique is very different.

I may have talked about this before but for me the main difference between film and plays, is perhaps obviously, the camera. When acting on stage you have to make up to 1000 people (in the biggest of theatres) believe every word that you’ve said, even if they can’t really see your face, whereas in cinema, every single emotion is captured as closely as possible. My favourite example of this (and I’m sorry I can’t supply a link, but you’ll have to take my word on this one.) is Samuel Barnett from The History Boys saying that when he played Posner at the National Theatre he had to exaggerate every emotion and over play it a little so that the 890 people seated in the Lyttleton auditorium could see it (in sense), when it came to making the film, he had to concentrate the character right down because otherwise the character would seem far too over the top.

Writing and directing these things is probably much the same as you have to write the characters slightly differently. On stage a character may have to shout, cry or wave their arms around to show emotion but on screen, with the right actor, a close up (or any focus on character) can show the same thing. Focus on the eyes can relay any number of emotions that can’t be captured on stage in quite the same way.

It would be interesting to write the same story as a play and then as a film, or probably more challenging if done the other way around. I actually have the film and play scripts of The History Boys, which is and always will be my favourite example in this situation, so I may have to compare them one day.

Right, that’s enough from me,

Lil

Currently reading: The Memorial by Christopher Isherwood
Captain Scott’s Journals.

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