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Stop Mumbling!

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 70
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Richard Taylor (U13861121) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    At last !! The BBC's head honcho, Tony Hall, is calling for clearer dialogue in programmes.

    From:- www.bbc.co.uk/news/b...

    "The BBC's new director general Tony Hall has complained that actors aren't speaking clearly enough in TV drama."

    It's all in the guidelines, Tony! Read them and then enforce them. Oh, and all of them. Less background music and much quieter when used. Lower sound on adverts, sorry promotions, etc..... And how about putting a stop to twitchycam, outoffocuscam, and all the other annoying "clever boy" directors tactics?

    Richard

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Fred (U15773678) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    Can he please start wiv Eastenners

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by weesnowball (U5509747) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    Can he please start wiv Eastenners  You took the words out my mouth. EE seems to exist solely on "wispring" or S H O U T I N G!!!

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    It's a question of balance isn't it. I would hate to think that everything was now to be done like I Claudius with clear theatrical diction. There is room for realism even if you can't catch every word.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Fred (U15773678) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    It's a question of balance isn't it. I would hate to think that everything was now to be done like I Claudius with clear theatrical diction. There is room for realism even if you can't catch every word.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiicky Riiiiiiiiiiiicky where for art thou Riiiiiiiiiiiicky smiley - biggrin

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    It's a question of balance isn't it. I would hate to think that everything was now to be done like I Claudius with clear theatrical diction. There is room for realism even if you can't catch every word.  Yes. It is a question of balance. If people complain that they cannot hear the dialogue, then the balance is wrong. If the author wants his finely crafted words to be appreciated by the viewer, it seems reasonable to make them audible, nespa?

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Grounded Griselda (U14326837) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    At last !! The BBC's head honcho, Tony Hall, is calling for clearer dialogue in programmes. 

    Halle-bloomin-lujah!!! About time too!

    I read an article in the papers recently that blamed a lot of the problem of indistinct speech amongst younger actors on the loss of early stage experience. Proper clear pronunciation and projection is taught in drama schools, but many young actors go straight into TV and film, and after the director has made his wishes for 'authenticity' clear it's often left to the sound man to rectify any audibility problems, but however clever they may be they can't work miracles. Eventually the skills taught in drama schools are lost.

    I can't provide a link to the article as I can't remember which paper it was, but I think it was The Sunday Times. But I recall Patrick Stewart and Richard Wilson making comments bemoaning the lack of clear speech from many young actors.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by C M Lockley (U14910185) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    Not BBC , but I've just watched The Soloist on DVD, Robert Downey jr was so unintelligible I had to put the subtitles on.

    This is a welcome directive!

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by technologist (U1259929) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    As Richard said the BBC had been trying to sort this out .. Strengthening the guidelines etc. etc and as those familiar with the BGM thread on the BBC board.. It only takes 10 complaints to force a review ...

    But it does seem to be a current trend ..... As much by actors as producers !

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by weesnowball (U5509747) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    I hope it's not solely directed at actors. Something should be done about the "zany-what-am-I-like" presenters on yoof programmes. Their false bonhomie is accompanied by garbled speech, innit, and they would appear to have at least four times the standard number of teeth in their gobs.
    smiley - doh

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Robert (U14302575) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    Proof that the problem isn't related to my hearing is found in the fact that some dramas have crystal clear speech (even when there is background noise or music) whilst other drama breaks down when it comes to communicating with the viewer or listener. It's all down to the production team. If their product fails to communicate then they are wasting their time.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    Just watching the 6 o'clock news and Caroline Wyatt is one that mumbles her reports.

    She has a very deep voice, for a lady, and speaks in a monosyllabic way which makes it difficult to hear her words.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by March Hare (U14471018) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    I have never been a great one for 'authenticity'. If I want real life I will go outside (I work as an addiction counsellor), so if I turn on the tv I want entertainment.

    It is a bit of an reverse Peter Cook and Dudley Moore 'Lord Cobham', but I stick with it. I can't find a link to it, but google it and you will know what I mean.

    Long live Pete and Dud (and you can hear every word, even when they were stuffing sandwiches in their faces).

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by BrightYangThing (U14627705) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    No. I nominate a journalist/presenter for the first candidate up in front of the headmaster. Ms Kirsty Squawk, hold out your hand ... this won't hurt...MUCH!

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Tuesday, 16th July 2013

    There's also a post about this on the main background music thread, which then includes a bit about mumbling.

    www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by C M Lockley (U14910185) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    Miss Kirsty Squawk would do well by using a more sensible and simple choice of words rather than trying to over-complicate matters.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by germinator (U13411914) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    While I agree that indistinct speech can be a problem, especially for the elderly ( I am older than sparrow, but younger than Portly, and I always have the subtitles on), presumably the director has chosen this style to lend realism to the production; however I do not agree about the named presenters Ms Wyatt and Ms Wark, their delivery may not be to your taste, but they would hardly have had their careers with indistinct speech.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Nick Brighton (U4274084) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    Hallelujah...at last some one at the BBC with some sense...lets hope film makers follow his example

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by C M Lockley (U14910185) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    On the other hand why did they put subtitles on for the Sea Symphony at the first night at the Proms.

    Vaughan Williams worked in both theatre and film music, he knew how to communicate. I could hear every word !!

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by henryhallsdanceband (U1639084) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    I'm afraid I have the same problem with Rachel Burden on R5L - sometimes completely incomprehensible when she speaks quietly and low. - and I'm concentrating. I thought it was just me. Oh yes - and sometimes the lighting in dramas is so dark I can't see what's happening. And again I thought it was just me - but 'clearly' not - hurrah!

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Drsdaughter (U12521046) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    I cannot hear Benedict Cumberbatch even when there is no other sound. There must be something about his tone which fails to register with me. I put the subtitles on for all my watching because of difficulties hearing some pitches. I love the music of "DrWho" and I would be saddened if we were to lose it. Murray Gold has written beautiful music which has enhanced my enjoyment of "Dr Who". I listen to the soundtrack cds most days and when there is little to see on the telly, I listen to a couple of my favourites .

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Drsdaughter (U12521046) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    Henry , I sometimes think that sets are lit with "one Watt Bulbs"! I have even tried to change the brightness setting for my television but sometimes it is a losing battle. How do the directors of dramas especially expect the viewers to see details when sometimes the face of the speaking characters are obscured by half- lighting the faces.? Perhaps it is because the vast majority of the BBC's drama output is dark and dismal and thuggish. The darkness is "mood", I suppose.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by olicana_man (U14156932) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    Idris Elba for me, subtitles on

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by susieroe (U1253912) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    I hope it's not solely directed at actors. Something should be done about the "zany-what-am-I-like" presenters on yoof programmes. Their false bonhomie is accompanied by garbled speech, innit, and they would appear to have at least four times the standard number of teeth in their gobs.
    smiley - doh 
    Plus the arm-flapping and hand-jabbing that appears to de rigeur now. Powered by a certain well-advertised high-strength battery, I think. (Other batteries are available).

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by victoria (U3941046) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    At last !! The BBC's head honcho, Tony Hall, is calling for clearer dialogue in programmes. 

    Halle-bloomin-lujah!!! About time too!

    I read an article in the papers recently that blamed a lot of the problem of indistinct speech amongst younger actors on the loss of early stage experience. Proper clear pronunciation and projection is taught in drama schools, but many young actors go straight into TV and film, and after the director has made his wishes for 'authenticity' clear it's often left to the sound man to rectify any audibility problems, but however clever they may be they can't work miracles. Eventually the skills taught in drama schools are lost.

    I can't provide a link to the article as I can't remember which paper it was, but I think it was The Sunday Times. But I recall Patrick Stewart and Richard Wilson making comments bemoaning the lack of clear speech from many young actors. 
    at last someone with some sense......
    after all the complaints here \and being put off by "those who know best ,or think they do"..thisis the best news...and I hope something will be done about it ....

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Guv-nor __ Demanding chocolate with menaces (U7476305) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    Probably not the article you remember Grounded Griselda.

    2008
    Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and actor Edward Fox have told younger actors under the age of 40 to speak up whilst acting on stage, as audiences are finding themselves unable to hear what's going on.
    www.whatsonstage.com...

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Grounded Griselda (U14326837) on Wednesday, 17th July 2013

    No it was more recent than your link Guv-nor. Only a few weeks ago.

    The main point of the one I read was that with the loss of so many rep theatres and so many young actors not 'serving their time' in live theatre and going straight to film and TV, they don't have the opportunity to hone and perfect the voice skills they have learned at drama college and eventually lose them.

    But, as has already been said, a large part of the problem also lies with the directors and their obsession with 'reality'. What they seem to forget is that however hard they try to achieve that, reality is reality and drama is drama - there is no point whatsoever if the audience can't hear the dialogue.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Guv-nor __ Demanding chocolate with menaces (U7476305) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    It may be this from The Guardian.
    "The demise of repertory theatres has robbed young actors of opportunities to learn the craft of using the voice, while typecasting has also taken its toll, Stubbs suggested."
    www.guardian.co.uk/s...

    And on a lighter note
    4.bp.blogspot.com/-8...

    Anyway it bumps the thread.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Grounded Griselda (U14326837) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Ah! I've found it.

    www.thesundaytimes.c...

    There was more, but it doesn't show unless you pay for it.

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by GARGLEBLASTER (U3191065) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Just watching the 6 o'clock news and Caroline Wyatt is one that mumbles her reports.

    She has a very deep voice, for a lady, and speaks in a monosyllabic way which makes it difficult to hear her words. 
    I don't have that problem with Caroline Wyatt. In my own opinion, one of the best female newsreaders is the wonderful Alice Bhandhukravi who actually knows how to pronounce "police" correctly. She must be a joy to watch for those who lip read.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by O Tempora O Mores (U14540735) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Whatever Tony Hall says, it will take many years before he can change the culture, by which time another DG will have been appointed who will re-nurture the teenage directors (who will promote loud music, mumbling, crushed credits and all the other irritants.)

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    I agree. In fact I still occasionally detect the baleful influence of John Birt in the current BBC culture despite him leaving in 2000.

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by TomcatRed (U8418886) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?  When you get to a certain age EVERYONE who is working is younger than you - lol

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    What Tony Hall actually said in the Radio Times was:
    You are balancing people's needs as they get older - which, as someone of my age, I completely appreciate - with the creative need of a director to put in music or other sounds that help to make the drama or the programme more real and vital. Danny Cohen [director of television] has been going through this with executive producers to try to get this better, and I think the complaints are much, much reduced.
    I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man but I also think muttering is something we could have a look at. Actors muttering can be testing - you find that you have missed a line... you have to remember that you have an audience. 

    It seems he believes that matters are already improving.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    I agree with every word of the OP.

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by O Tempora O Mores (U14540735) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    No, it's a fact of life when you get to my age!

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by old git at 70 (U14213449) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?  When you get to a certain age EVERYONE who is working is younger than you - lol  well it is every one else fault, especially when you are nearing the start of your 8th decade , ie your 70th birthday

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    No, it's a fact of life when you get to my age!  At 64 I love the inventiveness of young people. Not everything they do comes off and not everything is for me but I can no longer rely on my own generation for new stimulating ideas.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?  When you get to a certain age EVERYONE who is working is younger than you - lol  well it is every one else fault, especially when you are nearing the start of your 8th decade , ie your 70th birthday  At 70 these days you are still a youngster. There are plenty of people over 100 now.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Somebody wrote this as an aspiration for our village in a survey we are doing.
    With an ageing population the village must not become less tolerant or jump to conclusions about younger people's behaviour. 
    I would totally buy into that.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by victoria (U3941046) on Thursday, 18th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?  I think its a bit unfair that older people get such a bad name...and are stereotyped as .stupid..confused...or batty....
    and its not an offence to call us names ,,,apparently...

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by William Blessing (U14578406) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    ""The BBC's new director general Tony Hall has complained that actors aren't speaking clearly enough in TV drama."

    Could I recommend any would be maker of TV drama tune into the repeated series of Minder on ITV4 around about 9am and 6pm very week day morning and evening?

    A young Bill Nighy played the part of a spiv Book Dealer recently. The series is so well done. Coherent plots, amusing dialogue, just so talented. George Cole as Arthur Daley, Denis Waterman as Terry and produced by Verity Lambert.

    Just so many talented actors, writers and directors.

    And any mumbling is intended as being part of the scripted dialogue and is clearly comprehensible.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    Isn't it a bit unfair to blame everything that you find annoying on people younger than you?  I think its a bit unfair that older people get such a bad name...and are stereotyped as .stupid..confused...or batty....
    and its not an offence to call us names ,,,apparently... 
    Ageism works both ways.

    It's just as wrong to generalise and call all old people stupid as it is to generalise and call all young people stupid.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by zencat (U14877400) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    It's just as wrong to generalise and call all old people stupid as it is to generalise and call all young people stupid. 
    All generalisations are wrong - including this one. smiley - winkeye

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Fred (U15773678) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    It's just as wrong to generalise and call all old people stupid as it is to generalise and call all young people stupid. 
    All generalisations are wrong - including this one. smiley - winkeye 
    That's a sweeping generalisation that all generalisations are wrong ergo it's wrong


    Or summink smiley - smiley

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Friday, 19th July 2013



    Could I recommend any would be maker of TV drama tune into the repeated series of Minder on ITV4 around about 9am and 6pm very week day morning and evening?

    A young Bill Nighy played the part of a spiv Book Dealer recently. The series is so well done. Coherent plots, amusing dialogue, just so talented. George Cole as Arthur Daley, Denis Waterman as Terry and produced by Verity Lambert.

    Just so many talented actors, writers and directors.

    And any mumbling is intended as being part of the scripted dialogue and is clearly comprehensible. 


    ...... but, as is often said these sad days ......

    "Of course, you couldn't do that now ..... "

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by minimetto (U1159894) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    Just watching the 6 o'clock news and Caroline Wyatt is one that mumbles her reports.

    She has a very deep voice, for a lady, and speaks in a monosyllabic way which makes it difficult to hear her words. 
    I cannot hear any of Caroline Wyatt's reports - at first I thought that she had to speak quietly whilst reporting in case she was overheard on enemy lines! Very poor indeed that the BBC cannot recruit presenters who can speak clearly and audibly as they must surely be aware that their people cannot be understood or heard properly?????

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 48.

    Posted by germinator (U13411914) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    Caroline Wyatt often presents reports on Radio 4, though she has a relatively 'low' voice (for a ♀) I have no difficulty in following her. May I suggest you turn your tv volume up, or use subtitles?

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by aquarius (U8185439) on Friday, 19th July 2013

    I had a problem of hearing the soundtrack on some movies ~ thinking that my tv needed adjusting.

    Turns out that my top range of hearing is missing. I am now using hearing aids and it's sorted out the problem.

    Report message50

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