Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Sinkable errors

Readers of this blog will remember that I'm not a huge fan of Amazon's Imdb – the definitive database of screen entertainment, and one of the things about it that annoys me is the "Goofs" section that accompanies most titles.

This is where those sad individuals get to write their reports after they've peered at their screens watching and noting down anything they claim is wrong. "Sod the story – let's find fault and make ourselves feel in control!"

They find continuity errors, revealed crew and/or equipment in the form of shadows and reflections (and sometimes right there in shot!), factual errors and anachronisms. I've spotted a few over the years, but I try not to let them spoil my enjoyment of the drama.

Errors during filming are not the responsibility of the writer, but the facts of the stories are (fantasy and science fiction aside).

Which leads me to explain why this blog entry is late: it's because at UCF we have been sweating over a module specifically about research – about the market, the audience we're aiming for, and the accuracy of the subject matter we are writing about.

Cameron came unstuck with one such example in Titanic where he has Rose talking about Freud's theory on male preoccupation with size, when in reality Freud didn't write about this until 8 years later.

Now, that sort of "goof" is typically spotted by someone who really needs to get out more, but at least here, in Cornwall, we are learning how to avoid writing such errors into our novels and screenplays and keeping such individuals out of the sunlight.

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