Monday, June 29, 2009

Your Knowledge Required!

A very quick peek above the parapet from me today, as I have a question to ask - 'tis one I have wondered for a long time, but finding the answer has now become paramount.

A little background to my confusion: when I worked for BBC Scotland one of my favourite times was working with Comedy Development & Production, with my most enjoyable but toughest experience being "Rab C Nesbitt". These many series were obviously written in full dialect having been originally aimed at an entirely indigenous audience demographic.

So my learned friends, in general terms...local dialect in screenplays: good or bad? Win or Fail? Or personal preference?

If you are another writer, director, producer, exec, script reader, script editor, story outliner, scheduler, head of programming, or just plain know the answer, please leave a comment below or tweet me on Twitter. I'll be checking back in later in the day.

Thanks in advance.


  1. Guess it depends on who's going to be reading. If you put tons of Weegieisms into a script, someone outwith of Glasgow probably wouldn't understand. I tend to make it known in the description if they have a strong accent, then throw in bits of dialect here and there so the actor would hopefully take the hint.

    If the whole script is going to be dialect/accent based, maybe put a note at the start or something?

  2. Good call, Andrew. Cheers. x

  3. I was going to say "not" apart from just natural phrasing (the actor can do the rest) - but that is a very telling point from Andrew about who'll be reading it.

  4. Indeed it is, Adaddinsane! Ta for your thoughts.

  5. I would have said yes, but then recently I read somewhere (probably on a blog) that it was a big no-no.

    so i'd ask my producer or whoever I was sending it to which they prefer.

  6. Pots - Interestingly enough, I have a 50/50 for & against split across the board now! Seems fairly personal & as you say - best to ask, I think! x

  7. Good or bad? The answer is yes. lol

    depends how you do it. Check out the script for Trainspotting or cheat and say

    [In a broad Glasgow accent]
    How's yer bum for love-bites?

  8. As potdoll said - personally love it - have heard that other dislike it. Answer = what you think works. If the magic is in the dialect then go for it.