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  • 1. Chapter 7 Sound in the Cinema © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Sound in the Cinema
    • Sound can be difficult to analyze. It’s elusive.
    • It can create a strong effect, yet often remain unnoticeable.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 3. The Powers of Sound
    • Can have a unifying effect with visual qualities.
    • Shapes how we perceive and interpret the image.
    • Directs our attention and creates expectation.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 4. Fundamentals of Film Sound: Perceptual Properties
    • Loudness is connected to perceived distance, but is constantly manipulated.
    • Pitch is the highness or lowness of the sound, and helps viewers distinguish different sounds.
    • Timbre is the tone quality, whether nasal, mellow or in between.
    • Together they create the sonic texture of a film and shape the experience for the viewer.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Selection, Alteration and Combination Choosing and Manipulating Sounds
    • Sound guides the viewer’s attention.
    • A soundtrack is made by selecting sounds that fulfill a function.
    • Often this means that sound is used unrealistically.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Selection, Alteration and Combination Sound Mixing
    • Mixing is combining sounds together, creating layers of sonic information.
    • Some techniques can contribute to continuity.
    • In Seven Samurai , the combination of sound enhances the unrestricted, objective narration.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Selection, Alteration and Combination of Sound and Film Form
    • Choice and combination of sound can create patterns that run through the film.
    • Musical motifs can reappear throughout the film but are re-orchestrated to emphasize narrative points as in Jules and Jim .
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 8. Dimensions of Film Sound: Rhythm
    • Dimensions are the ways the sound relates to other film elements.
    • Rhythm involves a beat, a tempo and a pattern of accents.
    • Coordinated rhythm synchronizes visuals with sound.
    • Disparity between sound and image can smooth over shot changes and create an expressive counter-rhythm or convey a feeling.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Fidelity
    • Refers to whether the sound is faithful to the source as we conceive it.
    • This revolves around expectation, and can create jokes or artistic commentary.
    • Can also refer to volume.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Space
    • Sound comes from a source and what we think about that source can affect how we understand that sound.
    • Diegetic sound has a source in the story world
    • Non-diegetic sound comes from outside the story world.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Diegetic and Non-Diegetic Sound
    • Diegetic sound can be onscreen or offscreen.
    • Diegetic sound can be external (objective) or internal (subjective).
    • In No Country For Old Men , the narration at times restricts us to Moss’s range of knowledge through subjective sound and visuals, creating suspense.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 12. Playing With Diegetic/Non-diegetic Sound
    • Sometimes it isn’t clear if a source is non-diegetic or not.
    • This can be a commentary or create jokes.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 13. Sound and Perspective
    • Sound perspective is a sense of spatial distance and location being analogous to visual depth and volume.
    • It can also have to do with timbre.
    • Stereophonic and surround tracks can create a very specific sonic landscape.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 14. Dimensions of Sound: Time
    • Can be synchronous or asynchronous, simultaneous or non-simultaneous.
    • Sound bridges create expectation, as can flash forwards.
    • Usually non-diegetic sound has no temporal relationship with the story.
    • These categories help us analyze film sound and identify patterns and function.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Functions of Film Sound: The Prestige
    • The overall structure of the film emphasizes misdirection and illusion.
    • Sound choices help smooth understanding of the action through differentiation of sound and sound association.
    • The expressive soundtrack enhances the mood of different scenes.
    • Sound bridges and dialogue hooks link scenes.
    • Dialogue misleads.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 16. Echoes, Visual and Auditory
    • Parallelism advances the films action, traces character development and maintains mysteries.
    • Auditory motifs, such as mechanical sounds, music and repeated dialogue create parallels.
    • Repeated dialogue also drop hints and clarify the story.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 17. Two Diaries
    • Robert’s and Alfred’s journals frame parts of the past, guiding the viewer from present to past and back again.
    • The diaries and voice-overs emphasize the conflict between the men.
    • The diaries also serve to mislead the viewer.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 18. Hinting at Secrets
    • As new information is presented, it foreshadows the answer to future mysteries.
    • Dialogue and voice-overs are part of these hints.
    • Offscreen sound withholds the payoff of each man’s greatest trick by keeping the camera on the reaction, not the illusion itself.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 19. The Opening
    • Sound is used to reveal and conceal story information from the start of the film with the voice over and the apparent illusion gone wrong.
    • The two magic tricks ask us to make a connection between them, and the voice-over commentary provides the answer.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.
  • 20. The Opening
    • The voice over introduces central themes of the film, major characters, time shifts and the tight image/sound synchronization that will propel the plot.
    • The commentary also provides hints.
    • The first few shots of the film also encompass narrative themes and motifs in the film such as self-sacrifice, death, and the methods used in the illusions.
    © 2010 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.