Adding 'subtitles' to your script

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  • Adding 'subtitles' to your script

    Okay, for those who have seen Austin Powers in Goldmember will know what I'm about to talk about:

    There's a scene in the middle of the movie where Austin is talking to a Japanese businessman who talks in Japanese, and the subtitle appears below, which allows Austin to initially get the wrong idea (since part of the 'subtitle' is obscured by stuff in the office).

    My question would be how you would go about writing that kind of dialogue in your script? I'm trying to write a scene where a person and her brother are visiting this marijuana king - and the king and her brother start talking in 'jive', with the 'translation' underneath. For example, I'd have one of them ask:

    What's the shizzle, dizzle?

    Then have the 'translation' as:

    What can I do for you today?

    I realize that it would probably be easier to not have this 'translation' bit in the script, but I figured it would get an extra laugh. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Makes sense, and could be funny.

    I'd precede the dialog with an explanation, e.g.

    As they speak "jive" the plain English translation appears as subtitles:

    BROTHER
    What's the shizzle, dizzle?
    (translation)
    What can I do for you today?

    -Derek
    -----------------------
    One of the many reasons you should never listen to dpat ~PipeWriter

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    • #3
      .................DWEEB
      ...........What's the shizzle, dizzle?
      ...............(subtitled)
      ...........What can I do for you today?

      if it's a foreign language it's simply:

      .................DWEEB
      ...............(in Japanese, subtitled)
      ............The Geisha seem a bit gamey today.

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      • #4
        Thanks, guys, that makes a lot of sense Fortunately, I only plan on having this 'device' for about two scenes in the whole movie, and even then for only a few lines, so hopefully it'll go over as funny without being boring.

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        • #5
          They used the same gag in AIRPLANE. One of the bruthas was talkin' smack, but the words on the screen were polite and refined. I remember his final line was "Sheeeee" (as in a disbelieving "Shit!"); the subtitle said "Golly!"

          Maybe you can find the script somewhere.

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          • #6
            Huh, I don't remember that gag in Airplane. I DO remember the scene you're talking about - the stewardess trying to speak to the black guy, and the old lady getting up: "Oh, miss, I speak jive." :lol But I don't remember any subtitles during the brief conversation they had in jive. I may have to try re-renting this movie to see if I missed that gag.

            Edited to add - that gag might have been in the beginning of the movie. I'll see if I can get the script from Drew's and see if the gag is there.

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            • #7
              slang 101

              People/characters don't speak "jive" anymore. The term died a frightful death along with leisure suits.

              If you don't want to sound dated or un-hip, don't use that term unless it's a period piece set in 1973.

              Also gone: jive-turkey, honkey, far-out!, slap me some skin.

              Also gone, though just discovered by some folks: dissed, bling, don't go there

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              • #8
                Re: slang 101

                Leisure suits are dead?

                I pity you. Here are some words of advice. Don't ever say that to my face.

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                • #9
                  Like this

                  John
                  Any chance you'd know the way to
                  the left bank?

                  Jean Luc
                  Eng-land?
                  (French)
                  Ah! I'm sorry I don't speak English.

                  John
                  Oh. Um...Left bank.
                  (pointing left)
                  Left. Err...ah...bank. Um...
                  sounds like...Frank...

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