Building A Computer and Writing A Silent Film – Weekly Update 11/12/13

This weekend I had a lot of fun.  Why?  Because I got a bunch of computer parts and banged them together to make a computer.  It was an easy process, free of any problems, and was incredibly fun to build something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.  And now I’m playing games with eyeball-melting graphics.  Eventually, I will install OSX on it and use it in a cluster in order to speed up my video editing process.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get to the theater to see 12 Years A Slave yet.  The review is coming, but it’s just a matter of scheduling.

I have been writing a science fiction film for a while now, but for this winter, I want to make a smaller, more intimate, character drama.  Details will come later, but I’m having a lot of fun writing the script, since it’s a silent film.  A silent film?  Yes.  I’m writing a script for a silent film.  Designing a film purely based on visual storytelling is a very interesting experience that I swear by.  I believe that if you try to write a story without words, you end up with a much more powerful, personal, and cerebral end product.  Don’t get me wrong, dialogue is great.  It can be a powerful tool, but I find that as soon as the story is being carried by the dialogue, the film starts to lose a critical intelligence.  Films like Inglourious Basterds use a technique called “sideways dialogue,” which is basically a character saying one thing, but meaning another.  This method of dialogue has led to some of the most iconic and powerful lines in history.  When one makes a silent film, you obviously don’t use sideways dialogue, as there is no dialogue to begin with, but the point is that dialogue is never something that carries the film.  Ultimately, it is the image that carries a film, as that is the essential aspect of cinema.  Dialogue is most interesting when it is running contrary to the image.  Silent film, however, just has an image to play with.  The silence is meaningful, and I love this idea that we can make a film without sound and carry just as much information.

-Nicholas Coyle


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