The Role of Sound in Film• Sound is one of the most overlooked aspects of filmproduction.• Money and time could be spared if more care were givento it in the production phase• Sound has to be considered in the pre-production /production / post-production phases of a project• For those of you who have done production:• What has your experience with sound been like?• What is the typical experience like?
Pre-production and Production Sound• Before a film begins production, the sound mixer will oftengo on a location scout to ensure the ability to capturequality audio on set• They identify any sound problems such as bad acoustics oruncontrollable noise• The problem with Food Boy• Once on the set, it is the Sound department’sresponsibility to capture the best quality dialogue possible• The sound department may capture other unique sounds that arefound on sets, but most sound effects will be added during post-production
Production Sound Team• Team consists of:• Production Sound Mixer• Boom Operator• Cable Utility• Job is to gather the best quality productionaudio possible through many sources• Boom: A shotgun mic is the preferred method forcapturing sound, boom operator hovers microphoneover the actors to capture their dialogue• Wireless Lavaliers: Wireless microphones are placedon actors bodies. Useful for wider shots and shotswhen there is a lot of movement from the actors.Does not have as good as quality as boommicrophone
Production Sound Team (cont.)• Often shooting circumstances make aproduction incapable of using thedialogue that is recorded on set. Inthese situations, the sound mixer’s jobis to get dialogue that will be used asreference in ADR• Complete ADR:• Running scene from Pride and Prejudice• A good example of production dialogue:• Moving McAllister, basement scene
Post-Production Sound• Post-production sound is the editing and mixingof sounds after the editing is finished and beforethe film is mastered to the output medium• There are three main areas of focus within post-production sound:• Dialogue and ADR• Sound Effects and Foley• Music
Dialogue Editing and ADR• The dialogue editor will find, edit, and sweetenthe best dialogue taken from set for eachscene.• If any of the dialogue tracks are unusable, thedialogue editor will perform ADR (AutomatedDialogue Replacement aka “Looping”) toreplace the unusable audio• ADR is less desirable to do because it is hard foractors to recreate their performance when theyare away from set• Some fantasy films, such as Lord of the Rings,which used extensive special effects containsmostly ADR because of the noisiness of theshooting conditions• Poorly done ADR is noticed easily (example: Lowbudget Kung Fu movies)
Sound Effects Editing and Foley• It is the sound supervisor’s job todetermine what sounds will be createdby the effects editor and what will becreated by the Foley artist• The Sound Effects editor’s job is to createsound effects that can be used in the finalsequence. These effects come from awide variety of sources. Often they aremanipulated stock sound effects, ororiginal effects recorded by the effectseditor• Foley is the recreation of any manmade ornatural sound, such as footsteps, rustlingor other special easily made effects suchas fire crackling.
Music• A composer is sometimes hired tocreate original music for a film. Theylook at a cut of the film and writemusic to go along with specificmoments in the film• Music supervisors works with thecomposer to create original materialwith a film, as well as license pre-existing music to be used in a film
The Final Mix• Once a film has all of the sound effects, dialogue andmusic recorded and edited, it is the job of the re-recordingmixers (aka dubbing mixers) to take the separate partsand bring it together into the final mix
Sound Theory Terms• Diegetic vs. Non-diegetic sound• Diegetic: Sound coming from within the world of the film• Non-diegetic: Outside the world of the film• Voice Over and Off-Screen sounds• Sound/Camera Perspective• Do we hear things as the camera would hear them? Or are thevoices closer?
Directions in Sound and Music• Like other aspects of filmmaking, directors can take amore realistic or more formalistic approach to sound intheir films– Films with realistic sound embrace louder ambient noises,background noises (such as traffic and airplanes) and have lowerquality dialogue– Films that are more formalistic in their approach will recreate all ofthe sounds. Often manipulating sounds from how they wouldsound in the real world (example: the sound of someone punchingsomeone in the face varies from real life to the screen)• Overall the goal of sound is to be invisible. If it is good,then people will hardly notice it and will instead beinvolved in the story.
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