Monday, August 11, 2008

The writers' doctor

howdunnitFor the Writers Guild of America West, Denis Faye speaks to cardiologist D.P. Lyle who has a second career as an advisor to writers.
What gaffs do you see in movies and on the TV that you roll your eyes at?

Several. One of them, I call the “instant death.” It's very hard to kill someone instantly, especially with a gun or a knife -- especially the guy who throws the knife across the room and it sticks the guy in the chest, and he falls down dead. Not going to happen. It's going to take hours, if not days, to die from a knife wound unless it hits something really, really vital and that's not likely. Same with a gun. Brain, heart or upper part of spinal cord, yeah, you can drop someone like a sack of potatoes. Short of that, they're going to bleed to death, or they're going to die of an infection.

How many times have you seen the guy shot, and he's written out of the script? Actually, what's going to happen is that he's going to be angry, and he's going to come after you. He's going to be bleeding, but now, he's going to take you with him.

The other thing is the “knockout punch.” You knock someone out, and they're written out of the script. In real life, think about the boxing matches you've seen. Guy gets knocked out and two minutes later, he's sitting on the stool in the corner saying it was a lucky punch. That's real life. If you knock someone out, they're unconscious for seconds or a very few minutes. They might be groggy for a few minutes, but after that, they're upset, and they're going to come after you. That doesn't happen in movies.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting but I dare venture a bullet through the head would keep most folk still for a while...


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