How to Open a Play

I don’t open films the same way that Shakespeare opened plays.  The first shots in Dara Says contain no words.  It opens with a series of actions, and in the first couple of minutes there are fewer than ten words spoken.

We created a draft of the opening for the crowdfunding campaign.  Here’s the video of the first few minutes from that campaign.

The script for the final film was identical, but we used different music and paced things differently.

I wrote the screenplay thinking that “film is a visual medium”, but a lot of story is told through the dialogue, tones of voice and other sounds.  Film is an audio-visual medium.
Continue reading How to Open a Play

midsummer nights rearranged dream

Words taken from the start of Helena’s final speech in Scene II, rearranged:

Helena:

So I am, Love’s folding mind,

wing’d Cupid looks not with the mind, but with the eyes;

Through Athens I thought Things base and vile.

But what of that? no quantity

as Demetrius thinks Love so;

He will not know:

Because in choice he is so oft beguiled

And therefore is painted blind:

And therefore is said to be a child, Love,

And as he errs, Love.

Nor hath Hermia’s eyes any judgement of taste;

doting on as she

can transpose to some o’er form and other dignity :

what all but he do know admiring of his qualities:

How happy

some can be,

not fair!

 

To the above, no words or punctuation was added or left out. Enjoy my Copy-Paste madness.

Consider this a late birthday present to Will Shakespeare, and a warning to raise awareness on the nonsense of copy-paste.

Word bubble Romeo and Juliet 

To further this, we’ve added a word-travesty of the Nurse’s speech in act I, scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet. The more used a word is, the bigger it comes up on the bubble. 

The word that jumps out to me is “Lammas.”  Juliet was weaned by the nurse 11 years before, on Lammas eve.  Lammas was a harvest festival, in a way like the forerunner of Thanksgiving.  “Pretty”, “falll, “wormwood”, “fourteen”, “dug”, all make reference to Juliet’s young age, but may also reference her current relationship with Romeo.  “Dug” by the way, has a meaning completely different to the modern one.

Yet, without their proper order, the meaning is lost.

 word cloud of the Nurse's speech in Romeo and Juliet

As you can see by the illustration, knowing how often a word appears is quite useless.  But it can be fun to see that words like “wilt” and “dovehouse” were once pretty useful.

By the way, the sentence “Wilt thou dovehouse, pretty Llamas wormwood?” doesn’t really make sense.