This link is nothing to do with the Hallmark holiday that’s coming up. It’s a coincidence…
I know that when two people talk to each other in the movies, they stand much closer than real people stand, they don’t look where real people look, but it is still a good idea to notice the way real people act. We need to understand the non-verbal cues that communicate character and story. At slideshare.net, there is a presentation on flirting. Most of it is the same old Cosmo advice (you can certainly ignore almost everything after slide 28), but there is stuff in there for editors.
The presentation ‘slides’ are more like pages, so if your monitor is any smaller than 1200 pixels vertical resolution, you’ll have to read the text from the notes at the bottom of the page (which is the same as on the slides).
For example, it is a good idea for editors to follow eye-trace… We need to make sure that what actors are thinking and feeling is revealed by where they look. Even if it is for a few frames in a shot:
Excerpt from slide 8:
Once a conversation begins, it is normal for eye contact to be broken as the speaker looks away. In conversations, the person who is speaking looks away more than the person who is listening, and turn-taking is governed by a characteristic pattern of looking, eye contact and looking away. So, to signal that you have finished speaking and invite a response, you then look back at your target again.
Excerpt from slide 23:
The essence of a good conversation, and a successful flirtation, is recipro-city: give-and-take, sharing, exchange, with both parties contributing equally as talkers and as listeners. Achieving this reciprocity requires an understanding of the etiquette of turn-taking, knowing when to take your turn, as well as when and how to ‘yield the floor’ to your partner. So, how do you know when it is your turn to speak? Pauses are not necessarily an infallible guide – one study found that the length of the average pause during speech was 0.807 seconds, while the average pause between speakers was shorter, only 0.764 seconds. In other words, people clearly used signals other than pauses to indicate that they had finished speaking.
You’ll find all this in well-scripted, well-directed, well-rehearsed and well-acted rushes. However, as we editors are in the business of solving problems, it’s a good idea to have some social psychology resources to turn to – just in case.
We also might be able to make that connection that gets us the job in the first place too…