Now that we are a month deep into the semester, DS 106 has us investigating possible television/film and radio remakes of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of Baskervilles. After reading the novel (accessed through Project Gutenberg), I considered the elements inherent to both film and radio – or visual versus audio renditions.
Of course, there are the obvious factors that come into play. With visual representations, there is scenery, lighting, wardrobe, and body language. In radio/audio representations, there is music, sound effects, intonation, pitch. But as I read, I began to wonder what truly separates the two different platforms – and how they aren’t so different after all.
I find that in television or film, a lot hangs on the proper angle and facial expression. What isn’t conveyed through dialogue can be picked up by how a character’s body reacts to a situation. Skilled actors can use their expression to show a myriad of emotions in just a single moment.
Comparatively, in audio representation, linguistic prosody carries much of the meaning in dialogue or narration. Intonation, stress, rhythm, and pause greatly affect the words that are spoken and what meaning emerges from them. A speaker can change the meaning of a statement just by the way that they say it. Additionally, prosody is useful in distinguishing multiple speakers from one another by creating unique speaking patterns for each separate voice. This is crucial for things like radio dramas, especially if there is only one voice actor for a single piece.
Prosody in audio behaves very similarly to body language and facial expressions in film, and vice versa. While film and audio are quite unique and have their own significance, they really aren’t so different from one another.