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Joe @Ukinojoe

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Silence in movies/games = The Future?

Posted by Ukinojoe - September 30th, 2008


I was gonna write a thing about something or whatever but I'm suffering from some major case of the Mondays so I'm just gonna c+p an old draft I wrote last week but never posted. Also my birthday was today, zippity doo dah.

First of all, I want to re-iterate my joyousness for being one of the winners of Madness Day, and perhaps also won a place in Krinkels' heart. That said, I had what I thought was an interesting idea for a blog post.

Anybody who's seen most of my movies might have noticed that they hardly ever have dialogue. I have no particular dislike for dialogue or dialogue-heavy cartoons, but I have to be honest and say I suck at writing dialogue. Stories work better for me when they simply fall into place with drawings to tell the story.

Now, for me, I see it as a weakness, but for the films itself, it's probably a strength. Have you realized that Castle Crashers has no dialogue? The stuff NPCs say and hints don't count. Not to sound stupid, but I didn't even notice this until I'd finished the game. The story is simple and the characters are too. They don't even have names, they're all like, Red Knight, Blue Knight, Cyclops, Necromancer, Evil Wizard. Proof that a rose by any other name yadda yadda.

I really think the game's got a good story, even though it's nothing new and very simple. You'll see alot of EXTREMELY convoluted stories in TV shows and movies and pretty much any form of entertainment today, but you don't really need to have all this explanation and character backstories and shit to have a good story with great characters.

What could it be, then? Could it be that their personality is hardly defined and your mind is supposed to fill in the blanks? Actions speak louder than words, so whatever little information about a character you get goes a long way. People will always say "THE BOOK WAS BETTER" after seeing a movie adaptation, is it because the embellishment of the characters was more up to the imagination but the film version is just the filmmaker's interpretation of it? Could be.

My favorite character in particular from Castle Crashers is the Industrial Castle King, who is a total coward and a narcissist. He's got several enormous portraits of himself all over his castle, and he never personally fights you. Unarmed, he dies in one hit. He's dead weight to his allies, so they don't even save him. You tend to forget all of this is happening without one English word being uttered.

Another great example I've seen of this recently is Wall-E. A lot of critics have probably pointed it out that there's hardly any dialogue, and it really does seem like a long version of a Pixar short, which are almost always silent. The back-and-forths between Wall-E and M-O were some of the best scenes, M-O was a funny character and they didn't even have to explain why! It's like, if you have a dog that's really friendly, you equate the dog to "a good person", even if they don't talk. Their actions speak for themselves and you're not bogged down with having to interpret their feelings through words.

So why do I think it's the future? Silent films were the FIRST films ever, they've been around forever in some form, they never fully fazed out. What I mean is that silence is going to become more and more popular in the feature length area, in more magnum opuses than just the little league stuff. We've come a long way since the introduction of all the film tools we have today, cameras, color, sound, chroma key, CGI, etc.. it might just be when we handicap ourselves from some of these that we realize other ways to tell stories. Simplicity is key, and pictures really are worth 1000 words. Think of those Garfield comics where Garfield is either quiet or taken out altogether. Human minds are DESIGNED to fill in the blanks to solve problems, storytelling can make great use of that. In fact, this entry is too long. Let me re-iterate the entire article in one sentence.

Your cartoons and games have too much damn dialogue, rip out your characters' tongues and you'll see a WORLD of storytelling opportunities.

Ok I'm done. Happy New Year everybody.

Silence in movies/games = The Future?

Comments (25)

I know i have a far bigger interest in telling stories without words then i do with dialogue. Animation is after all a "visual" medium. Its strange looking around a community like Newgrounds tho, theres alot of "storytellers" here that use a tonne of dialogue and yet their stories are utter shit, all the good storytellers on this website seem to just rely on music and visuals to tell a good narrative. Course this is just my opinion. The fact most dialogue driven cartoons on this site are bad sitcoms probably doesnt help.

A big offender here on Newgrounds is how alot of games have extremely boring long instructions. I like a hard complicated game now and then but I hate seeing it in Flash games, where my attention span is even lower than usual. I like how Tom's games are all consistently simple and take seconds to learn how to play. Additionally, movies that begin with a block of text explaining the backstory or something are no fun at all.

Well, I enjoy silent storytelling as well, but dialogue is very important sometimes. Even if you don't use it, It's best you learn how to write it.

You know whos the best character to fill the non speaking role? Gordon Freeman, hes fucking awesome and he doesnt even say shit, its just the way the story is structured that u actually think ur freeman and ffs i even nod the mouse when the npcs ask me stuff, like the game really makes u feel like an important part and not simply the characters guide...

sumthing like that applies to when going to uknown countries in which u dont know language u have to move to express what u want, movement is an universal language =D

Ps: i honestly think Master chief would of been a better character if he never talked...

Tl;Dr: movement can speak for itself in its unique universal language

You know another interesting thing about Gordon Freeman? You never even SEE him. He's a pretty good example because aside from the promotional art I figured you're supposed to reflect your image/personality onto him, because he's sort of a blank slate.

oh and happy bday man =D

I often find myself having an urge to animate a movie with no dialogue, and one time I actually pulled through(well... one line).. I thought I did a good job keeping everything timely and putting a few unexpected jokes in, but overall the movie didn't do as good as my others. (TailRider if you are interested)

I like silence in movies/games, because it shows no matter how complex something is, it can be explained without actually explaining.

Heh I'm just a simple person with only basic ideas about movies and stuff.
Anyways Happy Birthday!

No the reason Gordan freeman and most main characters in successful video games don't talk is because when you play, you portray yourself upon them. So if they talk constantly you won't feel as if your in the game as much.

really good post here. Walle was REALLY good. I cant think of what an attrocity would it had been with someone voice acting fo wall-e and eve all the time. yack.

anywyay happy Bday! also that image is fucked up.

How funny is that shit?

Happy happy birthday happy birthday SQUIDWARD!

Have you ever played the Paper Mario series? I've always though of that series as one of the best of all time mainly because Mario barely utters a sound. Even Luigi and Bowser talk, who usually have as many lines as Mario. It sort of makes you feel more in control of him than in any of his other games. I also agree with the post above me about Gordon Freeman 100%. While they're both known as the main characters, they're more of a focal point to play out the story of everyone else. I've always liked those sort of games.

Example in video games... the main character in GTA III. Though every one else talks...

Example on Newgrounds... the Brakenwood series. Not a word is spoken by Bitey, but it is obvious he is an arrogant asshole.

is tah supposed to be mcains vp?


Happy b-day. =3

Your absolutly right about the dialog issue. TV today is boring. I have to sit back and listen to all this bullshit dialog to put together the plot. Ever see Mr. Bean? Little or no dialog, but you know whats going on, and you laugh. Its all visual. Same thing with music.Popular music nowadays relys heavily upon lyrics to show the mood of the song. A good musician should be able to portray the songs mood with the instruments. Same with animators, dont rely upon the script, rely upon the drawings. Your honestly one of my favorite artists, and your ability to point out this problem is one of the reasons.
P.S (Nice Sarah Palin haha)

that palin pic rules

Go to my userpage... you know you wants to.... so much. ;3

im to lazy to read the words but is that amelea air heart killing the statue of liberty?

o i get it!!!!!!! sarrah pellin is killing the statue of liberty... which resembles america, u underestimate me joe.... u think im done but i proved u!!!!!!11

Do you still update your youtube

Holy shizz man. That drawing kicks Arse. Do a Hulk parody!

I didn't draw it.

and nope

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