Skip to comments.Mumbling TV actors: The heart of the mutter
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 ...
We use the subtitles. It helps the kids practice reading, too!
I use subtitles when they’re available.
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.
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.
And here I thought my hearing was going bad.
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.
Ozzie Osborne is the king of mumblers. I can only make out about 20 percent of what he says.
Don’ You Go Rounin’ Round to Re Ro
Daniel Craig is one of them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As something of a flashlight junkie, I especially notice that.
Note the source of the article. The Brits don’t like it either. :)
uh uh uh what about totus
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.
Have you seen the Tom Cruise movie? You know, the one where he plays a cocky young guy?
Hey maybe rachaeldeedeediamondeugenewhatshername should look into acting as a job.
Movies as well. That and the continual music playing when someone is speaking.
I can't watch Sportscenter anymore because they have to have music playing over everything now.
Whats this ruddy fuss and bother about Pommy words? Shag off on the to toss-pot you spack!
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?”
Blabla bla blablabla.
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.
That was my first takeway from Craig after his debut as Bond, mumbley.
Subtitles for those who, like myself, can’t understand those who talk both low in volume, high in speed, and incoherent in enunciation.
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.
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.
I'm having to do that more and more on my favorite TV programs I record.
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.
I still haven’t watched a Craig 007 flick.
My favorite Craig flick is Layer Cake; he doesn’t mutter in that one.
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.
Try Viggo Mortenson or the entire cast of “The Killing”
Clint Eastwood, however, spoke stray, but EVERYONE got his big lines.
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