The proliferation of smartphones may have made life more convenient, but it's come at a cost — conversations just don't look as dramatic when one participant is reduced to tiny text on a screen. That's a problem for Hollywood, which often has to walk the fine line between a dramatic viewing experience and an accurate portrayal of modern life. The Wall Street Journal has taken a look at how studios and directors are getting around this problem.

One prominent example is Netflix drama House of Cards, which showed texts as onscreen speech bubbles in a similar style to the BBC's Sherlock. We're yet to see a standard visual language evolve, but technology hasn't always stumped directors in such a fashion — Oliver Stone says that the advent of the early cellphone was perfectly timed to assist his portrayal of affluent, work-addicted financiers in 1987's Wall Street.