Starter TaskWhen watching films we generally take the sound for granted and assume it is a natural part of the filmHowever every single sound has been carefully chosen / created, edited and placed in the film for very specific reasons Task: Imagine a busy New York Street scene You must list all of the sounds you would expect to hear in a scene like thisUse the whiteboards to mind map your ideas and then present them to the class
Learning ObjectivesIdentify how silent cinema became‘talkies’ Introduce Key terms: Non-Diegetic Diegetic Evaluate the use of sound in: The Godfather Boogie Nights
History of sound in filmCinema has a longer history with sound than manyof us realise.The first film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888.He shot moving pictures on a paper film using asingle lens cameraThe film consisted of people walking across a bridgein Leeds The period stretching from the start of cinema in the mid 1890’s to 1927 has come to be known as the silent cinema era George Melies – The Haunted Caster (1896)
History of sound in filmFilmmakers had attempted to marry sound and image togetherthe earliest days of cinemaFrom the inception of motion pictures, various inventors attemptedto unite sight and sound through "talking" motion pictures.The Edison Company is known to have experimented with this asearly as the fall of 1894 with a film known today as ‘DicksonExperimental Sound Film’. The film shows a man, who may possiblybe Dickson, playing violin before a phonograph horn as two mendance
History of sound in filmThe term ‘silent cinema’ is mis-leading to modernaudiences as early cinema was anything but silentLive music accompanied films from early onA Hammond organ or piano would be played by apianist live in the auditorium to accompany thefilm Watch Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last and consider how the inclusion of a piano track adds to the overall impact of the short
History of sound in filmIn 1927 the second major revolution in cinematictechnology took placeThe first ‘talkie’ was released‘The Jazz Singer’ was the first featurelength motion picture with synchroniseddialogue sequences.It marks the beginning of the ‘talkie’ and thedecline of silent cinema.Ever since cinema sound has developed andbecome an integral part of cinema andfilmmaking
Sounds in filmIn your note pads write down the different formsof you cinema sound you can think ofSound effectsOfficial Soundtrack (OST)DialogueOn screen noise – cars, doors slamming shut etcFoley
Sounds in filmThough we may think of film as a visualexperience, we really cannot afford tounderestimate the importance of soundA meaningful soundtrack is often as complicatedas the image on screen. The entire soundtrack iscomprised of three essential parts The Human Voice Sound effects MusicEach of these elements can berecorded during the shooting of a filmor added afterwards
Sounds in filmAll types of sound within cinema can be split in to two maincategories Diegetic & Non-DiegeticDiegeticSound whose source is visible on screen– or whose source is implied to bepresent by the action of film• Voices of characters• Sounds made by objects on screenor in the film world• Music from radios, instrumentsseen on screen
Sounds in filmAll types of sound within cinema can be split in to two maincategories Diegetic & Non-DiegeticNon-DiegeticSound whose source is neither visible onthe screen nor has been implied to bepresent in the action•Narrators commentary• Sound effects added for dramaticeffect• Mood Music (OST)•Non-diegetic is repsented as coming from asource outside of the film world
Diegetic Vs. Non-DiegeticWatch the following extracts and note down complete table below: Diegetic Sound Non-Diegetic Sound •Salieri’s Voice • Music (Soundtrack) • Paper being handled • Music Salieri is imagining • Salieri describing the • Salieir’s Narration music on camera • Female Opera Singer • Manuscripts hitting the floor • Mozart’s wife talking with Salieri
Diegetic Vs. Non-DiegeticWatch the following extracts and note down complete table below: Diegetic Sound Non-Diegetic Sound • TV Commentary •‘Swooshing’ sound of Suger Ray’s Punch• Punching sound effects • Crowd noise • Hearbeat • Bell Ringing • Breathing?• Dialogue from LaMotta’s • Lion roar as Suger Ray Brother hits LaMotta• Dialogue from LaMotta • Wind / Storm noises • Camera flashes • Blood splatters
The GodfatherSound is as important in conveying information andadding meaning to a scene as cinematography,lighting and mise-en-sceneAs a result scenes can be analysed using the samemethod Watch the following scene from the Godfather and answer: List the Diegeitc & Non-Diegetic sounds you hear How does the sound reflect Michael’s emotions? Why has the train sound been used like this?
The GodfatherThe absence of sound in sections of this sequence hasbeen added to highlight the tension felt by MichaelThe characters speak in Italian without subtitles becausethe mafia are a secret organisation not open to outsidersThe audience are in the same position as the policecaptain and are unable to enter the mafia’s private worldThe overhead train sound effect builds alongside Michael’stension / apprehensionIt aurally signifies his fear and focus – it gives a sense ofbeing overwhlemed by the scenario – as if the blood isrunning to his head and drowning out all other noise
Analysing The GodfatherThe contrasting use of sound is reflective ofMichael’s emotions and feelings about anexecution he must carry out.The sound of the train car passing overheadreflects the inter turmoil and the overwhelmingemotions that he is feeling. It drowns out all othersound leaving Michael alone with his thoughtsand tension.In the bathroom the sound effect is used to reflectthis, but as he re-enters the restaurant the soundreturns to silence confirming that he has hisemotions under control and re-establishes thetense atmosphere from before
Boogie Nights Analysis taskWatch the following extract from ‘BoogieNights’ and make notes on the following: What sounds are diegetic / non-diegetic? How does the use of sound build tension? What impact does the use of sound have on the audience? Boogie Nights (1997) How does the sound make you feel in this Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson scene?
Boogie Nights Analysis taskUsing your notes your must now write ashort analysis of the use of sound in theBoogie Nights drug deal scene Include: What sounds are non/diegetic? What does the use of sound add to the scene? Boogie Nights (1997) Dir: Paul Thomas How do the firecrackers add tension to the Anderson scene?
SummaryWhat are the three main categories of filmsound? Human Voice Sound Effects Mood Music/SoundtrackWhat is Diegetic sound?Sound whose source can be seen on screene.g. Dialogue, gun fire, cars etcWhat is non-Diegetic sound?Sound whose source is no visible on screen e.g.Soundtrack, special effects, narration
The Sound of SilenceWhen analysing films it is important toremember that the absence of sound can havejust as much impact as a complicatedsoundtrackThe use of silence can can work againstexpectation.If we are used to being ‘warned’ with non-diegetic music that a dramatic event is about totake place then we are shocked if the eventtakes place without such warning. I Am Legend (2007) Dir: Francis Lawrence Watch the following clip and make notes on how the use of sound creates atmosphere and goes against our expectations
The Sound of SilenceUsing your notes your have 10 mins to write ashort analysis of I Am Legends openingYou must combine your analysis of sound withanalysis of cinematography and mise-en-scene Consider:How effective is the mise-en-scene in establishing a post apocalyptic world? How does the camera highlight the characters I Am Legend (2007) isolation and loneliness? Dir: Francis Lawrence
Contraptual SoundContraptual sound is often non-diegetic soundInstead of emphasising or complementing the image,this form of sound works in opposition to it Watch the following clip and make notes onhow the use of contraptual sound plays against our expectation What effect does the choice of music have on this scene? You have 5 minutes to write your notes up in essay form
Character Themes When scoring a film a composer must take in to account eachdifferent character and create a theme that aurally signifies their characters Character themes can introduce characters They can also complement the actions they are taking Arrange yourselves in to teams of 4 You will now hear 14 character themes and other shot types / sound effects. 1 point for each correct answer 1 Bonus point if you can name the film