Huffpost Technology

Proof That Hollywood Doesn't Understand Texting

Posted: Updated:
FRANK UNDERWOOD
Vimeo / Tony Zhou

Even though nearly all of us are texting every day, we still haven't quite figured out how to depict it in film and on television.

Film critic Tony Zhou took a look through the evolution of the onscreen text message in an informative video, found at the bottom of this post, highlighting the ways in which we can still improve on this sometimes awkward problem.

Animating text messages onscreen has for existed for years, as seen in 2008's "Sex Drive," below.

However, the integration of texting and film continues to gain mainstream appeal. For example, ABC's "Pretty Little Liars" is centered around girls receiving text messages from the elusive "A." But there's a problem, visually, as illustrated below: the cutaway shot to a phone screen looks sharp and forced.

But -- hallelujah! -- Frank Underwood -- as played by Kevin Spacey -- is here to save (and ruin) the day. In Netflix's "House of Cards," texts appear beside the character, enabling us to see his entire glorious performance.

But ultimately, for Zhou, BBC's "Sherlock" does it best: the show artfully integrates a classic, borderless white font with messages that look natural and appear in visually interesting ways.

Check out Zhou's full examination of the history of onscreen texting:

A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film from Tony Zhou on Vimeo.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
"House of Cards" Season 2
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

 
From Our Partners