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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Defying Convention for Depth of Character

Starting a screenplay with a 12-page voiceover from a single character is risky but a V.O. done well--à la Guy Pearce in Memento--is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and adds true depth of character, if not exhaustive depth of character, and when a gifted actor is reading or reciting something, someone with a gorgeous timbre and all the right inflections and perfect tone, you don't want it ever to end; though for the sake of the medium the one-page opening scene is an action scene, a shocker actually, and over the course of the V.O. the character is depicted in multiple locations, it's not like he's sitting in a chair staring into the camera, one views him in a variety of situations that summarize his "lifestyle," if you can call it that, he doesn't have a lot going for him, a classic case of "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all."