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Fourth Wall Reinforcer

A shutter which stops self-reference
  [vote for,

Fourth Wall breaking is good provided it's not overdone, and sometimes you might just not want it for some reason.

This is a rectangle of plasterboard which can be lowered over a display screen. A sensor in the TV set or monitor detects when it's lowered and plays a different scene when there would normally be a fourth wall break. If this is also a plot point, it causes a fork in the plot which will continue after it's raised again.

The scene played is shot but will never be seen by the viewer. In order to prevent this, the reflection in the viewer's eye(s) are monitored in order to ensure they haven't tried to work round the fourth wall lowered in front of their device. The streaming or file format concerned is proprietary and can only be played via closed- source software in order to prevent it from being cracked.

nineteenthly, Feb 09 2018


       …like some kind of…
not scrubbed pine machine.
Ian Tindale, Feb 09 2018

       "Breaking the Fourth Wall" is an intentional dramatic device adopted by the author; it is not the audience's place to decide how much of it is "too much", as this would subvert the essentially passive paradigm of performer(s) - audience information flow.   

       For example, "Keeping Tom Nice" and "Bouncers" both puctuate the action with monologues delivered directly to the audience from front of stage, to useful narrative effect. The same is true of movies and TV. You're just the victim; your role is merely to observe, thus collapsing the wave function. If you want plot forks, get involved in some collaborative fanfic.   

       Or in other words, "sit down and shut up".
8th of 7, Feb 10 2018

       Audience participation though.
nineteenthly, Feb 11 2018


       "Oh no it isn't ! "   

8th of 7, Feb 11 2018

       I’ve been watching this long-running fiction series on television where the main characters break through the fourth wall routinely. BBC News, and weather, have been doing it for so long I can’t remember what it was like before this trend started. The news presenters and weather presenters will break through the fourth wall as if talking directly to the viewer, almost every episode.
Ian Tindale, Feb 11 2018

       We put a sheet of plasterboard to cover the TV for those times.
8th of 7, Feb 11 2018

       Scrubbed pine would be classier.
Ian Tindale, Feb 11 2018

       What's needed, to explore the full drama-space effectively, is a fifth wall.   

       This fifth wall separates the actors from an imaginary audience. Thus, an actor can break the fifth wall by addressing the imaginary audience directly, whilst maintaining the fourth wall.   

       This has advantages too numerous to think of, but one of them is that expositions can be made to the imaginary audience without giving the real audience that uncomfortable "oh no, I'm a part of this play" feeling. Another advantage is that the actors can respond to imaginary heckles or questions from the imaginary audience, which then becomes another set of characters in the minds of the real audience.   

       No doubt somebody will mention Greek choruses at this point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 11 2018

       Consider them mentioned.
pertinax, Feb 11 2018

       Now, have you got an antistrophe to put on that?
pertinax, Feb 11 2018

       // Greek choruses //   

       Aren't those the little yellow and purple flowers that bloom around March, after snowdrops but before daffodils ?
8th of 7, Feb 11 2018

       You're thinking of Greek choristers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 11 2018

       Oh, yes.
8th of 7, Feb 11 2018

       What about the sixth wall? The wall between the actor and the real person that the actor actually is when they’re not fraudulently playing a part or reciting lines or pretending to have emotions that they’re not really having, and all that actory crap that makes them so insufferable to be around when they’re supposed to be in “normal” life. Breaking through the sixth wall would be the actor in their part, temporarily suspending the script and metacommenting in their acted part, but addressing their real actual default personality self (sans-actor persona).   

       You sometimes witness a related version of this happening in a sort of falsified humour fashion when people stop whatever it is they are saying on telly and turn and shrug and say “who writes this stuff?”. Breaking through the sixth wall would extend this quite considerably, except they’re not addressing someone off stage left or right, but themselves as not-an-actor, and with considerably deeper post-structuralist propositions.
Ian Tindale, Feb 11 2018

       The sixth wall could have a cashpoint in it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 11 2018

       It could have a vending machine too, for cans of very mildly alcoholic beer-based beverages with a Wagnerian theme, such as Tristram Shandy ...
8th of 7, Feb 11 2018


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