Today, we’re going to start engaging in a series of articles called “Vital Signs”, an innovative and thought-provoking tour that explores and questions how technology has affected the voice over industry and those within it.
These posts were inspired by an article in The Atlantic written by Nicholas Carr titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
First up to bat is interpreting copy.
Does reading a script on your computer screen as opposed to a printed copy make a difference in your preparation, interpretation, and performance?
Ever since email and the world wide web graced this earth, we’ve been participating in an ongoing experiment that challenges us make use of transferable skills regarding how we communicate, use technology, and allow new mediums into our lives through which we are entertained.
Let’s take writing for example.
For perfectionists, word processing has been a wondrous gift as you can type something easily, and if desired, play around with the formatting, choose attractive fonts, and edit cleanly with precision by spotting spelling mistakes and fixing them immediately. Don’t forget copying and pasting! Now there’s something we’ve all made use of at some point if not on a daily basis.
Business people have also benefited from word processing as have teachers and students. Truly, it has affected us all in one way or another, hopefully making our lives richer for it.
Although word processing has changed how we create written content, it also has changed how we interpret and consume the written word, particularly online.
Technology Changes You More Than You Think
Cited in Carr’s article in The Atlantic, a German scholar, Friedrich A. Kittler, noted that the brilliant yet controversial 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844-1900) prose “Changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style,” following Nietzshe’s use of the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball typewriter later in his career as his eyesight began to fail him.
Nietzsche himself said, “Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts”, also acknowledging that thoughts often depend on the quality of pen and paper.
Whether you identify with or vehemently oppose Nietzsche’s published writings and his personal beliefs, he does make a good point in the quote above about how the tools you use may shape the end result of whatever it is that you are trying to achieve.
Has the Internet Changed How You Read and Interpret Copy?
As the recipients of scripts emailed, downloaded or viewed online, have these new technologies affected your artistry, and consequently, the style of your reads?
For instance, consider the following:
à¹ Do you read scripts on your computer monitor?
à¹ Do you print them off?
à¹ Are your scripts formatted in a certain way?
à¹ Are the scripts placed on a stand or read directly from the computer?
à¹ Do you prefer a particular font or font size?
Your performance depends upon the tools at your disposal which enable you to interpret the written word and let art flow from your mouth throughout the signal chain.
Have You Noticed A Difference In Your Performance Using Newer Technologies?
Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this!