?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
How We Watch Things - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
How We Watch Things
This post about cast ethnicity made me think.  I have never not  noticed the cast.  I might not be able to tell if there are any bit characters of color in a mostly white cast.  But the fastest way to sell me on a show is if it has a main cast mixed in ethnicity and gender.  Because otherwise, I usually can't tell them apart.  Take something like Dark Matter or The Flash -- those are easy for me to distinguish the characters.  But if you put half a dozen white guys together, sorry, they all kind of look alike to me.

Also, I get pissed if the gay, female, black, or otherwise different characters get fridged.  I am increasingly inclined to bail out of shows that do this.  It's just not entertaining to me.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: June 10th, 2018 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
"Because otherwise, I usually can't tell them apart."

This. Especially when they're all in modern business attire. They might just as well be clones.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 10th, 2018 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes ...

You're right about clones.

In one campaign I ran, we literally had a character die because everyone forgot about him. He was a human fighter, and all the others had major distinctions. There was a disaster on a bridge, and when they got to the other side, we all realized that nobody had thought of him in over half an hour.

He'd gone under the ice without any of us noticing. He was that unessential to the party's functioning.
elenbarathi From: elenbarathi Date: June 10th, 2018 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

That's a sorry fate, for sure. I presume he was an NPC? They can be hard to keep track of, especially if there are a number of them.

Old black and white movies are the worst for me. All the men are dressed alike and have the same hairstyle; the women are either Blonde or Brunette but otherwise as interchangeable as Barbie dolls, and one can't even tell them apart by the color of their clothes, because there's no color. Everybody's got the same generic California accent, too. I lose interest within minutes because it's too much trouble trying to keep track of who's who.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 10th, 2018 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

He actually started out as a player character, and we kept him as a communal resource after the player left.
cat_sanctuary From: cat_sanctuary Date: June 12th, 2018 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've lived in places where everyone was White (or thought they were!), so movies like that don't bother me. If they're about remote rural places.

If we're looking at NY or DC or LA and everybody's White, that shows that the movie makers have never been there, and/or the movie is a really low-budget bowser featuring a cast of the producer's close relatives.

If it's supposed to be comedy and all the characters are sort of dimwitted, but one type is cast as less sympathetic than the others, that does annoy me. ("Ten Things I Hate" comes to mind.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 12th, 2018 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>If we're looking at NY or DC or LA and everybody's White, that shows that the movie makers have never been there, and/or the movie is a really low-budget bowser featuring a cast of the producer's close relatives.<<

Or they just don't notice because they think of white as the default, which is the prevailing problem in Hollywood.

Meanwhile over in Terramagne, it's common to consult demographics and put that in the cattle call for crowd scenes. For example, here's Los Angeles:
The racial/ethnic/cultural composition of Los Angeles as of the 2005-2009 American Community Survey was as follows:[2]
Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 47.5%
Non-Hispanic Whites: 29.4%
Asian: 10.7%
Black or African American: 9.8%
Two or more races: 2.8%
Native American: 0.5%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.2%
Other: 25.2%
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Los_Angeles

So the crowd scenes would be almost half white and half Hispanic, with a smattering of other races.

Gender balance is aimed in the vicinity of 50/50. They try to include some people with visible disabilities in approximate proportion of the populace. Same with age mix.

T-Hollywood has a whole cadre of actors and actresses who make a decent middle-class living just from doing background characters like this.

>>If it's supposed to be comedy and all the characters are sort of dimwitted, but one type is cast as less sympathetic than the others, that does annoy me. ("Ten Things I Hate" comes to mind.)<<

Those are called stop-tropes. They should die in a fire.
6 comments or Leave a comment