It is not uncommon for a character to speak directly to the audience. This is known as ‘Breaking the fourth wall’. Frankie Muniz in Malcolm in the Middle and John Cusack in High Fidelity do it as a way of explaining their emotions to the viewer directly. Alternatively, there is the potential use of voiceover, such as in Peep Show, which retains the illusion but allows us to still hear what the characters are thinking.

There are ways of relaying information without speaking directly to the audience, thus keeping part of the illusion. In the Sopranos, for example, you have Dr Jennifer Melfi, who allows Tony to explain how he is feeling to another character. Similarly in Los Dos Bros, you have sections in which you see the brothers in the therapists office. In Reggie Perrin there is the use of ‘Cutaways’, which allow us to see into his mind, how he would like to be or express his feelings. In Annie Hall, Woody Allen uses the more literal use of Subtitling, although the subtitles express the characters’ true feelings rather than translating it from a different language.

I would like to use all of these techniques in my short film.


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