Everyone knows that Hollywood takes a good bit of creative license when it comes to depictions of various professions – including court reporters. We’re betting you’re not too surprised to hear that most crime labs aren’t outfitted with giant hologram machines and there’s just no real-world way two 20-something greasy spoon waitresses could afford the spacious, hardwood floor, exposed brick apartment a la 2 Broke Girls.
Filmmakers and TV producers casting court reporting roles regularly get a few things wrong, too. Our top five unreal Hollywood depictions of court reporters and stenographers are:
- They have crazy long fingernails;
- They have weird, stiff moves and you just know that they’re not even touching the keys – just going through the (not quite accurate) motions;
- They’re tucked away in far corners of the courtroom far out of reasonable earshot of any party;
- They’ve never heard of paper collection rolls or trays. Instead, their steno machine paper pools into massive piles on the courtroom floor.
- They’re chatty. In some films and TV shows, court reporters have been known to yak it up or even flirt with others in the courtroom – something that real world court reporters just don’t do if they want to keep their jobs.
One reason that Hollywood court reporters often are so misrepresented likely is the fact that they’re considered extras (unless they’re one of those chatty, flirty types) who have no spoken lines. The going daily rate for that gig: about $50. Even in Hollywood, you get what you pay for, it seems.
Do you recall a film or TV show scene that left you shaking your head at the stenographer’s depiction? Post it on the Stenotype Institute Facebook Fan Page.