Film: 8018

Industry + Work | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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An attempt to educate those who write letters in an office environment 1970's
Letter being typed on electric typewriter. Domestic letter box, postman posting letter, lands on inerior mat, man in trousers, shirt and tie picks it up, opens it, sits at breakfast table, reads letter to wife, it is full of jargon. Throws letter on breakfast table next to toaster and packet of All Bran cereal, and jar of Robertson's marmalade or jam with the golliwog logo on the reverse label. Richard O'Sullivan sitting at desk in studio dictating a letter into large dictaphone, he cannot get it right. Voice over starts talking to Richard and pushes him into improving the letter. To do this the male voice over provides a list of rules:
1 - "What are you going to say?" Richard makes rough notes.
2 - "Put it in sequence". Richard puts his list into some sort of order. He shows camera letter without paragraphs.
3 - "A paragraph for each step". Images of different letters. Back to Richard and his dictaphone.
4 - Voice over advises Richard to begin his letter differently and shows us how the recipient would react if it remained unchanged: Male manager reads letter on which there is no reference, secretary checks files, cannot find their original letter. Shots of suited men dictating letters in the correct way. Hence one should always identify the subject. More suited men dictating the ends of letters.
5 - End by pointing the way ahead.
6 - Richard thanks voice over and recaps. Richard reads the completed letter out loud, the sentences are too long. Short simple sentences to be used so he re-punctuates the letter so that it can be understood.
7 - Use punctuation to improve understanding. The speech of St. Crispin's Day from Shakespeare's Henry V, first without punctuation and then with. Sentence from letter with too much punctuation. Dictionary being opened.
8 - Simple words to be used. Secretary using short hand while translating civil servant's language. Fat businessman pontificating. Secretary takes pin and deflates him by sticking it in his belly. He subsequently speaks clearly and simply. Richard begins to change his letter again. Recapping: Richard speaks into dictaphone. Shots of impressed executive in plush office reading letter.

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