Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Moving image sequences 1

SOUND IN MOVING IMAGE PRODUCTIONS =   Music, sound effects, and dialogue .


The Expendables 2 opening action scene

Functional dialogue.... , spare,  often low in mix , used simply for  essential information or emotional  outbursts.    Dialogue is timed to avoid action  so you can hear it clearly. Villains don't even get dialogue.
Music :  mood rhythm pace

Diegetic Music also low in sound mix...sound effects are highest.

Children of Men  car scene    

Diegetic music, for rhythm and pace , dialogue  used for character and plot, sound effects to add realism and emotion for the audience.


Mood , genre   ( tone ) ?

Warm , soft, light, melancholy ( a mixture of sadness and hope)

Kingsman fight scene 1

Music combined with sound effects for pace, rhythm and mood. The scene is violent yet upbeat because of the music , and the timing of the sound effects with the music, and the sudden pauses, creates a comic effect.

   Miller's Crossing     Danny Boy    LINK      

Link 2                                  

Song starts diegetic but becomes non-diegetic as scene progresses, Is this  naturalistic ?  Genre , mood  of music matches scene ?  Song fits scene in terms of length and structure. Meaning and theme of song ?  No dialogue necessary.

Mulholland Drive   diner scene   

    Music for mood and emotional realism , dialogue using repetition of key words( dream , scared etc.), sound effects used for shock.

 Lost Highway  Mystery Man   

Diegetic/non-diegetic music?  and sound effects . Non-naturalistic. Emotional realism ( a sound that puts you inside the mind and emotional state of a character)

Sound motif  : repeated piece of music the audience  associates with  specific character or event in the film 

Jaws  opening

                           Jaws second  killing

Effect on audience if sound motif is  changed or  removed. It can also replace the actual character in the audience's imagination

                               Slow ahead  

                              Hooper in cage  

                          Non-naturalistic sound .  Often the sound mix in film scenes is artificial and unrealistic to make sure the audience understands key information , or to exaggerate certain points in the story.  Is the diegetic music mixed realistically here ?

                            The Matrix club scene

Here's an example of naturalistic sound that  we don't often hear in films

                    The Pink Room  from Twin Peaks


Children of Men  action scene

Godfather : baptism



Spoken word content in film is  primarily about creating meaning for the audience , giving them information about  genre, characters, and the plot of the film. This particularly applies to  voiceover , which is a device that can be used to get the audience inside a character's head  ( emotional realism)  and to give the audience key information that would otherwise not be spoken aloud.


Usually the main character has a voiceover , as this is who the audience will find out out most information about  and will see the film through their eyes.

   The Shawshank Redemption

all elements present

As well as creating meaning , the tone and emotional content of the voiceover can also create mood for the audience.

 ( traditional , information to audience , warm tone, mood, pace)    The Shawshank Redemption roof scene

  Contrast with Fight Club


Voiceover and narrative structure :  we assume the narrator has survived the events of the film.

This is a convention that can be altered

(Adaptation on  voiceover )


Can be functional , naturalistic or artificial ( anti-naturalistic). Many films use a combination of these. Action films tend to use a lot of functional dialogue as long realistic conversations are not necessarily want the audience wants , and functional dialogue is best suited  to action scenes. ( See the Expendables 2 at top of page).

Here are another couple of examples of use of dialogue : note what information the audience is being given about character and plot to create meaning  as well as how it is being delivered.

Naturalistic :  Informal, overlapping, repetitive

Formal ,  antirealist , stylised , using space.


                      THE GODFATHER  shooting

Sound effect ( the train ) used instead of music for emotional realism. It is exaggerated ( hyperreal) and non-naturalistic as it would not be that loud in reality.

        SAVING PRIVATE RYAN  beach scene

                      Diegetic/non diegetic. Emotional realism. Mood and meaning.  Foley.
                      Naturalistic/non-naturalistic. Minimal dialogue/no music. Sound effects are the main audio element of the scene.

SOUND BRIDGE    A sound ( usually a diegetic sound effect) that crosses across two different scenes and acts as a sonic fade between them. Although not realistic, this makes the transition between scenes smoother and may also add to the narrative  of the scenes if the chosen sound effect has  meaning.

For example , the alarm clock  at the end of this scene.

                                                       The Matrix : end of club scene

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