Record a real conversation with a friend. (It’s up to you whether you ask permission or not).
Before listening to the recording, write your account of both sides of the conversation.
Then listen to the recording and make some notes of the discrepancies. Perhaps there are unfinished sentences, stammers, miscommunications etc.
I carried out this exercise during a phone conversation with a friend without asking permission. I will therefore not be giving any details of the conversation or whom it was with. I made some notes on the conversation as requested.
Overall the conversation had a rhythm which contain unfinished sentences, interruptions, miscommunications, some points were made in several different ways. A conversation over the phone is slightly different to a face to face conversation as you are unable to read the other persons body language and visual cues, thus the conversation I recorded contains far more interruptions, cutting across and miscommunications than if it had been face to face.
Listening back to the recorded conversation while looking at the notes I made reveals a good number of discrepancies. In general I had noted the main points from the conversation, but the sequence in which I wrote them down differs from the recording. It seems that I made my notes with a biased toward content importance and its interest to me. Some topics in the conversation didn’t made it into my notes, probably because I wasn’t interested in what was being said. When recalling a conversation or event, we generally do so from our point of view, where the importance of the information is dictated by our opinions, beliefs and interests. Working as a firefighter, I have on a number of occasions along with my colleagues been required to give statements to the police regarding incidents. Its interesting to note how differently each person recalls the events even though they may have been side by side for much of the same incident.
Quentin Tarantino has been very successful in giving his characters and particularly his dialogue a natural and believable feel. His characters often converse on topics that in no way advance the plot, other than to perhaps reveal a little more about the characters’ beliefs, interests, opinions and sense of humour. Applying this exercise to photography, I suppose the key to making something seem real is in the fine detail.