For whatever reason, the human brain likes loud audio better than soft. It doesn’t just think it sounds better, it actually LIKES the audio better. On the Sound Advice Tour we do an exercise where 19 times out of 20, an audience likes the louder program material better; even when it’s only louder by a small amount; even when it’s the same program material we compare against. Scientists have also discovered there’s a gland in the human ear mechanism which actually triggers dopamine in the brain when louder volumes are heard. So, shouldn’t we be committed to delivering internet mixes of our productions which are louder than our competitors? Until they regulate loudness, and it may be coming any minute, our mixes need to be so loud, that people feel like they like them better. They won’t know why they do, but they just will. This is a secret that Hollywood uses on us all in commercials on television and, indeed, on the web. Learn to use the tools which are required to make your mixes louder than your competition without distorting, and you’ll have an unfair competitive edge over everyone else.
In Western Civilization it’s rare to have a conversation where people are actually listening to what their counterpart is saying. Instead, we’re mainly trying to figure out what we’re going to say next. Then, while you’re speaking, the other person is doing the same. Instead of having a dialogue with someone, it is much more reasonable to expect that you’re having two monologues. Moreover, it is rare when people speak about what they really want. They will speak around what they want in the hopes they’ll find some advantage or some way of protecting themselves from vulnerability while trying to get what they want. People rarely speak about what they’re really thinking or feeling. As a result, “real life” dialogue is more of a deception than truth…and it’s certainly never, never exposition. Hollywood writers, on the whole, have mastered the art of “showing not telling” – and when the tell, they’re dialogue is rarely the truth of the characters or situations. Just like in real life, dialogue should be audience deception. It should never reveal what the character is really feeling, or what they really want. Even when they’re telling someone what they want, it shouldn’t be what they really want, because, honestly, most people don’t really know anyway. Writing dialogue in this way has audience members connect with characters in a way which feels so much more natural and easy. Avoid forwarding story, plot or reveal character qualities from dialogue. It will wake people up in the audience, and we never want audience members to be awake. We want them asleep subconsciously, and although audio is the best way to keep audience members asleep (and subsequently able to be manipulated easily to focus on what we want them to), bad or “unreal” dialogue is a very easy way to wake them up. Hollywood moviemakers are masters at keeping audiences asleep, and you’ll want your dialogue to be that deceptive sleeping potion which has your viewers dosing through the realization that they’re watching the same kind of “quality” and “feeling” in your project as a $50 million movie.