I can’t seem to ignore that on TV and movies when there are two people in the front seat talking to each other the driver seems to have his/her head turned to talk way too long. If I took my attention away from driving for as long as many of these actors do I think that my car would be totalled. Why can’t screen writers try to take that fact into consideration when they have actors talking to each other in the front seat of an automobile?
It’s not stupid writers, but stupid directors.
<Ed Wood> Nobody will notice!</Ed Wood> Bugs me also, and I keep waiting for a crash. I was only satisfied at the beginning of Six Feet Under.
However, it may be the directors, or it may be the actors acting as if they were in a studio and not a car, and the director either not noticing or not caring.
and the stupid actors.
Yeah, but no one really expects actors to be smart. I can more readily forgive an actor for getting caught up in the conversation than the director for not seeing how unrealistic it looks, when seeing how things look is a major part of his job.
I doubt that there is a factual answer to this. Moving from GQ to Cafe Society.
General Questions Moderator
Maybe the actors just have a lot of sales experience.
In a previous job I was the purchaser and got taken to lunch by sales reps on a regular basis. They are trained to make eye contact when they are talking to you and do it when driving too. Looking at you instead of the road and weaving all over.
The Pres. of our company was so bad about this that he would actually turn around to look at you in the back seat, while driving and talking to you.
I now return you to Hollywood.
Guess what? Not only do the actors take their eyes of the road, but there is no glass in the windshield! You know why? Because they’re not really driving. You don’t get good shots of the actors if they are, you know, really driving. What people would much rather see is, you know, acting. Directors know that. Because, I guess, they know more about how movies are made, and such. So they take out the glass and mount the car onto the flatbed of a truck and film the actors, taking as much time to get the sound and look and feel and dialog and everything else right as they need. Then they spend the rest of their day doing one million other things that aren’t real either. Why? Because the real world sucks dramatically.
It’s not stupid directors or stupid actors. It’s stupid viewers who expect art to reflect reality. If you want reality, don’t watch movies or TV.
Glad I’m not the only one who understands that fiction is not reality.
I’ll agree with those annoyed by this.
I know that it’s all faked, even if they actually put the car on a flatbed truck and drive it down a street to give it an air of verisimilitude. So if you go to all that trouble, why not go the extra bit and have your driver act as if he’s really driving? Because it takes the audience out of that magnificent illusion you’ve created and has them worrying about the imminent crash instead of concentrating on the dialogue and the action.
I’ll note that, in some cases, I suspect that directors actually DO want you to be worried about that imminent crash – it certainly involves the audience, makes them pay attention, and care about the characters – heck, if you can do that as a director (instead of having the audience thinking about getting up and using the bathroom, or getting popcorn, or something), then you’re golden. But it’s a cheap way to do it, it can be abused too damned easily, and if the guy actually does have an accident he’s lost my sympathy.
As for those of you who say it’s not reality (didja notice there’s no rear-view mirror? Huh?), and the audience is stupid for insisting on this, well, just use a couple of folding chairs and a frisbee instead of a car and a steering wheel. And if you’re in a plane, use a shower curtain as a compartment door. Just remember that when Ed Wood did it, they made fun of him.
I just wish we would see the Airplane! gag once or twice. Wouldn’t it be funny if the guy is focused on the other guy, and the back-projection shows a road, then a ditch, then a muddy field, then the inside of a barn, then a construction site, all without comment? But alas, it is not done.
Hate this- it always takes me out of the scene. I recognize that they’re not really driving; that’s not the point. Unless the director is trying to make me worry that they’re about to get into an accident, I expect the characters to continue their scene while doing the normal things people do while they’re conversing in the car. Watch the road, stop at lights, slow down around turns, etc. That’s acting.
I used to watch *Third Watch *and really appreciated the fact that when the main characters as cops were driving, they were really driving- or if not, it was done well enough that if they were on a flatbed being driven by a PA or something, it was very convincing.
I don’t think it takes most people out of the movie. It’s something that you notice when you think about it, but, in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter. We know what it’s supposed to be; if they acted like they were driving, though, that would make the point of the scene the driving, and not the dialogue. In most movies, the driving isn’t the point, so it needs to be de-emphasized.
If absolute realism were the point of films, actors and actresses would all be average-looking.
I know. Pretty soon we’ll be talking about whether the science in 2012 is realistic or not.
Oh, it absolutely drives me crazy (ha! nice pun) and takes me totally out of the movie. I always find myself mentally measuring how long their eyes are off the road. Yuck.
It’s just a convention. It’s there so you can see the faces of the actors as they say their lines. Think of it like faster than light travel, or people spontaneously bursting into song.
It’s just a writing or acting device. The basic thing is you always have to play the scene for the stupidest people that may be watching
Did you ever notice that when a character in a movie or TV show grabs a bottle it’ll say something like
Vanilla Extract – 30% ALCOHOL
And the words 30% ALCOHOL are in the same bolding and the same size lettering as the words “Vanilla Extract” and the Brand name.
This never happens in real life.
The warnings on a label or the ingredients are always in much smaller letters. But the directors feel if they don’t emphasize the point audiences will miss it.
You mean like Burns and Schreiber? Only Avery didn’t need to use a Frisbee.
Yeah, and they laughed at Burns and Schreiber, too.