I made 2 interviews with 2 Ukrainian writers/directors – Myroslav Slaboshpitsky (“The Tribe”) and Marysia Nikitiuk during my recent trip to Kyiv.
Both of them was somehow tackling a topic of dialogue as a tool for getting closer to a believable character.
The speech characteristics, the tone, the vocabulary should be a natural to not just a generally social environment, but also a smaller system: family, friend’s group, place of work.
Smaller systems are generating specific jargon that can be visible just trough small moments or “unnecessary lines” – not informative, but adding to an atmosphere.
Even in a mute film “The Tribe” characters are talking – but their dialog is not very different from what we see – “Give me money” or “Let’s go fuck”.
But I knew that it should be not a general talks, they speak as a guys from a boarding school for deaf teenagers. And I observed it around 1 year.
I don’t believe in films without dialogs. Even if it’s a film without big interaction I’d like to hear how even “Yes” or “I need a water” will sound.
And as well I don’t like when people who are already know each other, according to a film, start to overexplain or mention already known for them information. You need to think how to put it in a gentle way, even if you need to deliver it to a viewer.
Marysia uses a recorder and goes to a neighborhood or a place of most connection of a character to record as many people as she could find. This is how she collects not an archetypical voice, but a lot of voices, from those she can leave just most appealing ones and give them to her characters.
Both admitted that Ukrainian acting industry is suffering from a disconnection from reality: very small amount of actors are speaking Ukrainian in a free manner and lot of them are speaking on theatrical manner. Also, many of them are native Russian speakers. (note – Ukrainian state agency demands all films to be Ukrainian-speaking).
Both mentioned that casting can be very tough because of this factor. And I agree with them.