Out Of The Box
So as I wrestle with my still-untitled screenplay, I find myself tempted to do something that most gurus would probably frown heavily on.
Whether that is a reason not to do something, I don't know.
I'm a big advocate of the "learn the right format" school of screenwriting, but I'm not sure this is really a format issue. It might be a tool issue.
Some context --
My main character starts off the script, for a variety of reasons, as a heavily-medicated woman, whose dialogue reflects this. It's meant to be strikingly emotionless, lifeless dialogue; she's lost inside herself, and her speech no longer reflects any shadings of her character.
Right now, I have a mention before her first speech, about how, until stated otherwise, this is what her speech sounds like. But it doesn't seem to be enough, somehow. While constantly referring to it in the script (it covers the first 15 pages, and then occasionally is required later) just feels clunky.
Then, the other day, I was reading a largely mediocre college comedy (which has an agent, and which I was covering for a major prodco), in which one of the characters was in a wheelchair and spoke in an electronic voice, through his computer.
And every time he talked, his dialogue was in a different font than everyone else's dialogue.
In other words, not Courier.
And somehow, it worked. It captured the form that his dialogue was always taking, and didn't let you forget that it was electronic. And you shouldn't forget, because watching the movie you certainly won't.
So I'm considering doing the same thing. If I can find the right font, that somehow captures what I am going for, without being too distracting. (And if my archaic Final Draft can even change fonts. So it might be a moot point).
But another part of me worries that it's a gimmick, that jaded contest readers or young assistants or uptight story analysts will snort and take off points, as if it is a sign of my amateurism, rather than an attempt to use a tool to really capture something in my script.
Yeah, I know, I'm a reader, and we should have firm opinions about these things. But it's not like all of us readers get together and compare notes.
But I say if I play with it, and it works... maybe it's worth doing.