Monday, May 7, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4278: Jaws - "You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat" - vs. A Real Shark Encounter on a Paddleboard - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

"You're gonna need a bigger boat" - This is a truly iconic scene from a groundbreaking film. This line of dialog has also become a metaphorical classic. Jaws was one of the most memorable movies of the 1970s. It also held the title for the highest grossing films until Star Wars.

Roy Scheider was an outstanding actor (he was nominated for two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award) and Steven Spielberg is an incredibly gifted director (winning two Academy Awards for Best Director as well as being the highest grossing director of all time) - and most scenes in this film were spot on - but in this scene, Spielberg and Scheider got it wrong.

In this moment, Police Chief Martin Brody displays some nasal flaring (albeit mild) - which is consistent with fear. But we also see a mild-moderate amount of pulling together ("knitting") and lowering of his lower forehead and eyebrows - and these changes are NOT seen with fear.

This is not the face of fear or surprise.

To further nuance his expression, Scheider's eyelids are mildly closed here - which is completely incongruent with fear or surprise.

Moreover, Chief Brody would have never kept that cigarette in his mouth. The dynamics of the mouth and lips during fear and/or surprise would have made it completely impossible.

If with respect to human nature and context, this moment would have been accurately directed and acted, we would have first seen surprise - rapidly replaced by a fear expression. Yet in this scene, Roy Scheider shows neither.

Now let's have a look at a real shark encounter.

In this video, we see Maximo Trinidad paddle-boarding off the coast of Jupiter, Florida where he had a close encounter with a (real) spinner shark on 7 April 2016.

As luck would have it, Mr. Trinidad had a GoPro mounted on his paddleboard.

During 0:16 we see Mr. Trinidad's eyes (eyelids) opened very widely, his central forehead contracted and elevated along with his inner (medial) eyebrows.

In this close-up image of the same moment, Maximo's mid-face is tensed with dramatic nasal flaring and the corners of his mouth pulled outward (laterally) and slightly downward.

SUMMARY:  What is "Good Acting"? Many would say it's when an actor delivers the simultaneous triad of exceptional:

• Dialog (Spoken Language)
• Vocal Characteristics (Paralanguage)
• Nonverbal Behavior (Body Language)

... and when all three of these qualities are portrayed congruently, proportionally, and in-context with the script - and we forget we're watching a film - it's skilled acting.

When the body language doesn't match the emotional context of the scene we call it bad acting. And in the real world - when the nonverbal behavior is disparate from words and/or vocal qualities - it should always raise other red flags.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4277: Donald Trump's First Person Shooter/Terrorist's POV Display at the NRA Convention

Body Language Analysis No. 4180 (REPOSTING): White House Press Briefing Re: President Trump's Physical - Dr. Ronny Jackson

Body Language Analysis No. 4274: Ariana Grande, Jimmy Fallon, and Recalling the Manchester Bombing 

Body Language Analysis No. 4260: James Comey on Good Morning America re: Trump, Russia, and the Steele Dossier

Body Language Analysis No. 4249: Will Smith, Sophia the Robot, Robot-Empathy, and Responding in Context

Body Language Analysis No. 4225: Sam Nunberg Interview - Part I • Roger Stone, Donald Trump, and Russia

Body Language Analysis No. 4058: Cara Mund, Miss America 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4011: Anthony Scaramucci's First UK Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3798: Elle Fanning, Channing Tatum and Dialing Up the Alpha