Monday, March 22, 2010

Silence in Films

With our fast paced world of quick thoughts and quicker words, we often find ourselves lost. We live in jump cuts and sudden, unexpected thrills. Meanwhile losing a handle of the most important things in life. What are these important things? Well there are the certain contenders such as family and relationships in general. However, the one I chose to outline over here is the beauty of silence. In the cluttered world we live in we barely get a chance to breathe and see the world for what it has become. Rarely do we listen to silence anymore and ingest moments from the day. 

You wake up with the radio, move into traffic, travel through coffee shops with lines on either ends, and finally end up at your work place with clutter and more clutter. You come home and check your favorite blogs and your facebook page. You didn't get to sit down and think did you? People don't get to do much of that. It sounds like a guitar thats been strung to death. Yes we know you have complaints against the importance of silence and solitude. 

Well not quite. It's your life isn't it? I rather not tell you what to do. Though I am a film maker and I find it necessary to write a blurb about the silence in film. back in the day when things were calmer and people had longer attention spans there were moments in film that developed forever. Now if there isn't a cut in less than thirty seconds we feel as if the film has gone on too long. What the audience seems to be looking for these days is a montage that outlines developments in a plot, rather than scenes. 

There is the physical development of a plot, and than there is the emotional development. People seem to completely forget the second aspect of it. Think back to the days before texts and chats, those past versions of ourselves use to sit and talk. Weather it was something insignificant or something as serious as a confession of love. 

Scenes in a film represent scenes from life. The day you got courage to say "I love you" to her, wasn't cut into fifty pieces before the three minute conversation was over. There are the awkward pauses, the moments when nerves get the better of you, and more. All this has to take time to develop. A good director knows when his audience needs a second to ingest a tough scene. 

Girl asks for a divorce, the guy is taken back by the unexpected moment. The audience needs a second to realize what has happened. The film, the plot, the character needs that extra few seconds. Hence, the importance of silence. Silence is crucial in film. A writer writes dialogue and hands it to a director, trusting that the director along with his actors, will be able to figure out the dramatic beats to conversations. It is this silence that makes everything in life more real. 

Action packed films are made more interesting with those moments and dramas cannot breathe without them. Every beat of silence makes the audience ever so eager to get the outcome. The best thrillers entirely depend on these moments of silence and non action, to jolt the audience, with the next bit of trickery. It's something that every filmmaker should be aware of. 

Never underestimate the importance of silence. 

No comments:

Post a Comment