misc Thinking Out Loud

Geezer

Member
Is it best not to give characters accents unless it's vital. I'm just writing, well finishing a short screenplay and I've given the main character a London accent. Along the same lines is it best to write "American". Obviously if it's set in London then it's obvious, but should we write more generic unless it's vital?
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I sometimes write that character x speaks with accent y, but don't use irregular spelling in the dialogue to demonstrate it.

There's always a reason for that characteristic.
 

Geezer

Member
The reason I'm thinking about this is because I sent a couple of scripts to a trainee director, I was just thinking if she is not from the UK then she wouldn't want to make it with a London accent because it's not essential. I suppose the question is "why write it like that if not essential?". The character is a racist and a bit of a thug so I wrote it that way. I'm from the UK and I suppose that's an archetypal thug here. I'm not saying everyone with a London accent is a racist thug, I've got a London accent (Ray Winstone) and I'm not. I suppose that's another reason I wrote it like that, because of me not Ray lol
 
Last edited:

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
In my experience, any director is likely to want some changes in a script. I would simply add in a follow-up email that you're not locked into the accent, and would welcome her thoughts on that if she is indeed interested in the project.
 

Geezer

Member
Yeah I get that. I'm thinking I'm limiting who might be interested. I't's obvious by his behaviour and words what he is so I suppose anyone would then use their image of a racist thug no matter where they are from.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
If there's strong ties to London write it that way.

Example: You could write an LA gang story. You could leave out the whole LA part thinking it can apply to anywhere which could help you sell it. But you could also be ruining the story.

Let the director make that choice! It's done all the time.
 

Geezer

Member
Yeah this is what I'm thinking, about selling it. So I suppose it's best to write more universal unless it HAS to be in a certain country or a specific dialect for a reason.
Talking about this has reminded of Trainspotting, the novel, it was written with really heavy strong Scottish accents which actually made it hard to read.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
You can write it based in a certain city w/o mentioning accents. Readers can take on their own accents unless you have written them in. That's a bit of a compromise, if you will.
 
Last edited:

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
If I was reading a script, and it described a character having an accent... The only limit would be my own knowledge of how that accent sounds. I personally haven't seen accents written in scripts yet.

BUT I remember Quentin Tarantino talking about how his film "Inglorious Basterds" was all about language and racist stereotypes.

Check out the way he explains people in the script here: https://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Inglourious-Basterds.html

It's in the first opening paragraphs.
 
Last edited:

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
There's plenty of times accents are stated in screenplays.

If you have a character who is from Brooklyn but lives in LA for example, and it is not known until page 10, when a character asks where he is from... you can write in his thick NY accent when he is introduced.
 

Top