Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Flashback

I didn't get much sleep last night, so for Thursday (my Monday) I was exhausted. If I let my mind wander, I got really comfortable, and it is because I have drifted off.

In order to combat this cycle, I have been drinking quite a bit of coffee. The machine in the office has a feature that allows it to brew espresso. Espresso. That brought me back...

During the pre-production of Sal's Cafe, when we were building the set, a lot of attention was paid to making the place look authentic (the secret weapon was a cheap, "No Checks Please" sign I picked up in Manhattan). Since many coffee shops list many items on blackboards, I began to write the prices for the different coffees.

Chris, who was providing some Italian-English translations for some of the items, commented that I was writing "espresso" incorrectly. The item should have been listed as "expresso."

"But," said I, "the correct spelling of 'espresso' does not have an 'x.'"

"Of course," Chris replied, "but how many coffee shops have you been to that have blackboards?"

"Most of them" I responded.

"How many of them," he continued, "have 'espresso' spelled correctly?"

He had a point.

It makes me wonder how much films are influenced, not by a desire for total accuracy, but by the petty issues of the creators. Anybody watching Sal's Cafe would have assumed that the person who wrote the chalkboard couldn't spell "espresso." Of course, the person who was supposed to have written the blackboard, Salvatore Sr. (Charles Plagainos), probably would not have spelled the word correctly. And yet I spelled the word the way I did because I spell it properly.

At Chris' insistance, I changed the spelling and, I had to admit, it looked much more realistic than had I spelled the word correctly.

Of course, the moment we screened some of the rushes, the comment came from someone unrelated to the production from the back of the screening room in the basement of Keily hall, in Queens College...

"You know, you spelled 'espresso' wrong."
Tags: filmmaking, stories
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