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Mumbling TV actors: The heart of the mutter
BBC News ^ | July 16, 2013 | Ben Milne

Posted on 07/17/2013 6:29:47 PM PDT by EveningStar

The BBC's new director general Tony Hall has complained that actors aren't speaking clearly enough in TV drama. Is it time to cut the mumble, asks Ben Milne.

"I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man," Lord Hall tells the Radio Times, "but I think muttering is something we could look at." ...

Trends in acting haven't necessarily helped. Method acting tries to capture the "truth" of a character - even if that character can't be heard properly - rather than bowing to stodgy old considerations about being audible from the cheap seats.

Its foremost proponent was Marlon Brando - a man given the nickname "Mumbles" by his Guys and Dolls co-star Frank Sinatra. This was an actor who put cotton wool in his mouth, while playing Don Corleone in The Godfather, to make himself less intelligible ...

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Society; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: cinema; dialogue; film; methodacting; movies; mumble; mumbling; muttering; realism; realisticdialogue; television; tv; unintelligible

1 posted on 07/17/2013 6:29:47 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Borges; DollyCali; Perdogg

ping


2 posted on 07/17/2013 6:30:21 PM PDT by EveningStar ("What color is the sky in your world?" -- Frasier Crane)
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To: EveningStar

We use the subtitles. It helps the kids practice reading, too!


3 posted on 07/17/2013 6:33:02 PM PDT by Tax-chick (No pun intended, no punishment ... If I offended you, you needed it.)
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To: Tax-chick

I use subtitles when they’re available.


4 posted on 07/17/2013 6:34:28 PM PDT by EveningStar ("What color is the sky in your world?" -- Frasier Crane)
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To: EveningStar

Muttering and loud background noise or music.

Sometimes, I have to replay a portion of the dialogue several times just to figure out what a character said.


5 posted on 07/17/2013 6:35:43 PM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: EveningStar

I agree, of course it’s epidemic with everyone, so partly just reflected by the new actors.

To go along with this is realistic whispering in the movie production. Gets so low you can’t tell what’s going on - along with dark shadowy scenes.


6 posted on 07/17/2013 6:36:53 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: EveningStar

And here I thought my hearing was going bad.


7 posted on 07/17/2013 6:37:24 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: EveningStar

WE watch Longmire on Monday night and the mumbling is the bad. We will run it back several times trying to understand some of the dialog.


8 posted on 07/17/2013 6:37:30 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Ozzie Osborne is the king of mumblers. I can only make out about 20 percent of what he says.


9 posted on 07/17/2013 6:40:07 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: the OlLine Rebel

"Mmmmbllserga, Skully. "mbbmleffty razzaloh."
10 posted on 07/17/2013 6:40:49 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: EveningStar

Don’ You Go Rounin’ Round to Re Ro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPY-sCiRCeA


11 posted on 07/17/2013 6:41:21 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: DollyCali; Perdogg; EveningStar; Borges; Mr. K; Blondie; altura; mylife; Mama_Bear; Jack Deth; ...

Daniel Craig is one of them.


12 posted on 07/17/2013 6:41:30 PM PDT by Perdogg (Cruz-Paul 2016)
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To: TomGuy

I went to an audiologist for this very problem. I had just been turning the TV up and up and up and still couldn’t understand a damn thing anyone was saying.

The audiologist told me to adjust my TV so that the bass was all the way down and the treble was all the way up.

It changed my family’s life. I’d been blowing everyone away with volume and pausing the show every fifteen minutes to ask, “What’d he say?” Now the volume is reasonable and even my hubby says that he can hear things better.


13 posted on 07/17/2013 6:42:42 PM PDT by Marie ("So a Hispanic shoots a black and is acquited by women, but it's still white men's fault" ~ Wargas)
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To: EveningStar
Nearly as annoying as the flashlight idiocy. That is when they walk into a room with the blinds drawn and they turn on their flashlight.

They don't open the blinds, they don't turn on the fricking light, they turn on their flashlights. Apparently they don't actually want to see what is in the room.

14 posted on 07/17/2013 6:43:36 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: TomGuy

I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a problem with what is being said on tv shows these days. I despise the way they increase the volume for music or special effects sounds, then drop the volume when the characters speak. I find I have to turn the volume up to hear what they’re saying, and then quickly turn it down again when there’s a noise or music. They do this with movies too, and it’s frustrating as all hell. I’ve started watching programs and movies with the subtitles on regularly.


15 posted on 07/17/2013 6:44:21 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

And you know who are the worst offenders. The British. I miss half the words in their shows because either they’re using a phrase which is strictly British or they mumble.


16 posted on 07/17/2013 6:52:11 PM PDT by MondoQueen (ii)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

As something of a flashlight junkie, I especially notice that.


17 posted on 07/17/2013 7:03:54 PM PDT by ansel12 ( Santorum appeared on CBS and pronounced George Zimmerman guilty of murder, first degree. March-2012)
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To: MondoQueen; the OlLine Rebel

Note the source of the article. The Brits don’t like it either. :)


18 posted on 07/17/2013 7:06:23 PM PDT by EveningStar ("What color is the sky in your world?" -- Frasier Crane)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

"Rmmbblestiffle, Skully.
Razpootal mumbowlfod."

19 posted on 07/17/2013 7:15:10 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: EveningStar

uh uh uh what about totus


20 posted on 07/17/2013 7:19:06 PM PDT by bigheadfred (barry your mouth is writing checks your ass cant cash)
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To: BenLurkin

Me, too! I thought my wife and I were both losing our hearing.

Seriously, we’ve been complaining about mumbling actors for several years. I like PERSON OF INTEREST. It’s hard enough to follow as it is. Then not understanding about half of what Reece says makes it unwatchable.


21 posted on 07/17/2013 7:22:18 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (If you vote for evil because you can't see evil, you ARE evil!)
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To: BenLurkin
Oh you saw that movie too. :)

Have you seen the Tom Cruise movie? You know, the one where he plays a cocky young guy?

22 posted on 07/17/2013 7:22:46 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: EveningStar

Hey maybe rachaeldeedeediamondeugenewhatshername should look into acting as a job.


23 posted on 07/17/2013 7:26:47 PM PDT by viaveritasvita ("The One who reigns forever, He is a Friend of mine, the G-d of angel armies is always by my side.")
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To: EveningStar

Movies as well. That and the continual music playing when someone is speaking.


24 posted on 07/17/2013 7:27:07 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: TomGuy
Muttering and loud background noise or music.

I can't watch Sportscenter anymore because they have to have music playing over everything now.

25 posted on 07/17/2013 7:29:30 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: MondoQueen
"I miss half the words in their shows because either they’re using a phrase which is strictly British"

Whats this ruddy fuss and bother about Pommy words? Shag off on the to toss-pot you spack!

:)

26 posted on 07/17/2013 7:35:10 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
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To: EveningStar

How about “The Killing” on AMC? Fine drama, but most of the actors mumble their way through the dialogue. We’re constantly asking one another, “What did he/she just say?”


27 posted on 07/17/2013 7:35:56 PM PDT by Salvey
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To: EveningStar

Blabla bla blablabla.


28 posted on 07/17/2013 7:38:55 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: mass55th
"problem"

My wife and I are both very irritated by the playing of music as the characters are speaking. What are the imbecile directors thinking? Cut out the crappy music and have the characters enunciate loudly and clearly.

29 posted on 07/17/2013 8:17:51 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Perdogg; GOPsterinMA; fieldmarshaldj; BillyBoy; goldstategop

That was my first takeway from Craig after his debut as Bond, mumbley.


30 posted on 07/17/2013 8:36:01 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: EveningStar

Subtitles for those who, like myself, can’t understand those who talk both low in volume, high in speed, and incoherent in enunciation.


31 posted on 07/17/2013 9:21:10 PM PDT by imardmd1 (Let the redeemed of The LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. (Ps. 107:2))
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To: EveningStar

I think the Brits are a little thin-skinned re: mumbled lines. Back in 2006 there was a BBC series called “Life on Mars”. One of the characters had an accent so thick they sub-titled him every time he spoke. Great series, though.


32 posted on 07/17/2013 10:39:13 PM PDT by Exeter (A government that doesn't trust its people is a government that shouldn't be trusted.)
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To: EveningStar

I see this regularly on TV shows and movies in the U.S. Poor diction, everybody talks as fast as they can, everybody talking at the same time. “Oh that’s ‘authentic’, that’s how people really talk when they know each other”, blah blah. And when they’re doing it with a foreign accent, like Robert Downey in the Sherlock Holmes movie? I gave up after about 15 minutes.


33 posted on 07/18/2013 3:54:51 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: TomGuy
Sometimes, I have to replay a portion of the dialogue several times just to figure out what a character said.

I'm having to do that more and more on my favorite TV programs I record.

34 posted on 07/18/2013 3:58:13 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (This space for rent)
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To: BenLurkin; VerySadAmerican

Watch movies and TV shows that were made more than ten years ago. You’ll be able to hear them just fine. Most actors today have poor diction, which I guess they make up for by talking as fast as they can, and most sound recording for some reason is simply incompetent these days.


35 posted on 07/18/2013 3:59:30 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Impy; Perdogg; fieldmarshaldj; BillyBoy; NFHale

I still haven’t watched a Craig 007 flick.

My favorite Craig flick is Layer Cake; he doesn’t mutter in that one.


36 posted on 07/18/2013 4:20:42 AM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Time to musk up.)
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To: Hot Tabasco

I live in an apartment, so I have to keep the volume low anyway.

Several years ago, I bought an inexpensive set of headphones that have an inline volume control. I am constantly raising the volume for speech and lowering it for background noise and music.


37 posted on 07/18/2013 5:36:16 AM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: jiggyboy
everybody talking at the same time. “Oh that’s ‘authentic’,

There is one director or producer or whatever his/her position who I can tell is associated with a TV drama. He/she has the characters walking fast and talking.

People just do not typically walk fast and talk, because the increased breathing interferes with talking.

Yet, there go the major characters fastwalking-talking through a casino or the WH or a hospital, etc. Of course, their 'breath-talk' sounds wheezy and is difficult to understand. But, the guy keeps getting jobs on TV dramas.

These 'technical' people need to re-take lessons from the old stage actors.
38 posted on 07/18/2013 5:44:33 AM PDT by TomGuy (.)
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To: Perdogg

Try Viggo Mortenson or the entire cast of “The Killing”


39 posted on 07/18/2013 7:16:00 AM PDT by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: Salvey
Lol, ditto that. The ULTIMATE "Mumbles" movie is Q&A with Armand Assante. My wife and .i had the volume all te way up till we figured out it was him!

Clint Eastwood, however, spoke stray, but EVERYONE got his big lines.

40 posted on 07/18/2013 7:20:16 AM PDT by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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