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Sound Design for Film

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Justin Carpenter

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Sound Design for Film

Sound Effects Most of the sound in film is not recorded on set, it is actually recorded in studio. Even the tiniest and the most unnoticeable sounds are recorded in studio. These sounds are created by foley artists and include things like the rustling of clothes, shuffling of papers, footsteps, etc. Other types of sounds are also recorded in studio and require a lot more imagination. Since there are no dragons, trolls, or demons in real life to record, they have to think of things that will sound like them. Nondiegetic Sound Nondiegetic sound is any sound that the characters don't hear but the audience watching the film hears. This includes voices, music, and even sound effects. Common examples of this are narrative music or voiceover narration.

In this clip from The Fellowship Of The Ring, music is playing over the scene where the Balrog is chasing the fellowship. The characters obviously can't hear it but it adds to the terror and excitement. Another example is when Gandalf falls and the music really takes over the scene where the fellowship griefs. They want to bring attention to the music so much that they even take out all sound. Narrative Music is music that tells a story and helps an audience know how to feel by complimenting what is going on in the film. In this scene from Armageddon, narrative music is used to convey an overall uplifting feeling even though the father is about to die to save the human race. The scene is not just about the father dying; the music helps an audience understand that he is giving his daughter hope for a future. Narrative Music Asynchronous Sound Asynchronous sound is sound the characters can still hear but doesn't have a visible on screen source. In this example from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the opening scene is a voice over that outlines Jesse James more intimate life details. Because Jesse James was a notorious outlaw, an audience would typically go into a movie expecting to see justice prevail. The voice over at the beginning of the movie helps humanize the character of Jesse James and sets up the audience with a different set of emotions for the film, because now Jesse James isn’t just an outlaw—he is an aging, married, loving father fighting for what he believes to be right.
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