What can TV teach L&D? Season 2 Ep. 2 – James Bond

Here is a transcript of Season 2 Ep.2 – James Bond.

Hi everyone, my name’s Tom Hickmore and in this episode of “What can TV teach L&D?” I’m looking at James Bond.

I make drama for learning, so I’m taking popular TV (and movie) drama and looking at it with an analytical eye, asking “What can we learn from this that we can be applied in the field of learning and development?”

In learning, exposition is a valid methodology.  But in the movies, it’s a necessary evil – needed to set-up the dramatic part of a story.  Filmmakers try to keep it to a minimum.  And when it’s unavoidable, go to great lengths to make it entertaining. 

So, let’s have a look at how they do it in the movies. 

One movie franchise that’s always had bit of an exposition problem is James Bond.

In each film, James Bond has a fancy new array of gadgetry that must be explained – otherwise we won’t understand what’s going on later in the film when he’s wearing his stealthy X-ray spectacles at the casino. 

In the early Bond movies, the exposition was dry as a bone.  Very much like a classic training film. 

In Goldfinger Bond, makes his first wisecrack to Q, who tells him off like a naughty schoolboy. 

The writers have brought character conflict to the scene.  Now the schoolboy and the Toff Prof are set at odds and it gives the interaction a nice tension.  It’s become more of a dance and less of a lecture. 

Later, John Cleese and Pierce Brosnan had some fun with it.

By the time we get to Eddie Redmayne and Daniel Craig in the National Gallery it’s almost all character and no exposition.  There’s only one gadget – so it’s barely worth wrapping a scene around.  But the scene has achieved such popularity that it’s become obligatory. 

There’s far too much exposition in L&D drama, so let’s take a lesson from James Bond on how to bring character to it to make it more engaging. 

If you can wrap up your exposition in a beautiful big bow people will love it! 

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