Producer Lindsay Doran writes eloquently about looking for a Sense and Sensibility writer for TEN YEARS:
"Everything I'd looked at seemed so dry and polite - the romantic scripts weren't funny enough, the funny scripts weren't romantic enough, the attempts to write in the voice of the eighteenth century felt stilted and dull. I was beginning to think that what I was looking for didn't exist."After working with Emma Thompson, Doran offered her the gig:
"She not only knew how to think in Jane Austen's language, but she understood the rhythms of good scene writing and how to convey a sense of setting....Her experience as an actress ...helped her to understand when silence could say more than any spoken word." (emphasis mine)I like how the script uses silence:
Ex. 1 - It can build anticipation.
"[The Stranger] turns to Marianne and smiles. She smiles back gloriously. He bows, and sweeps out of the room.
MARIANNE (hissing): His name! His name!"
Ex. 2 - It can also convey sorrow.
"Sir John eyes Brandon roguishly.
SIR JOHN: You know what they're saying, of course...
SIR JOHN: The word is that you have developed a taste for - certain company.
Brandon stays resolutely silent. Sir John is emboldened.
SIR JOHN: And why not, say I. a man like you - in his prime - she'd be a most fortunate young lady -
Brandon cuts across him.
COL. BRANDON: Marianne Dashwood would no more think of me than she would of you, John."
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Silence forced me to connect the dots.
I didn't realize:
1) how versatile it is, and
2) how it involves the audience.
Sense & Sensibility (1995)
by Emma Thompson
From the novel by Jane Austen