When studying and researching other examples of soundscaping, I learnt some key lessons that helped me in my final task. An example of this was finding out that a lot of sounds used in films that are added in are used to make the scene more dramatic. For example, in an action film where there is a fight scene, they add in noises of punching to make the scene more intense and dramatic. An example of this is in the film ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ in one of the fight scenes. In reality, the punches wouldn’t make that sound, especially at that volume. They add in the noises and increase the volume to make it more dramatic.
They also add in non diagetic noises. For example, glass shattering. You don’t see it any glass break, but adding it in makes you think that the characters are more concentrated on the fight, as they don’t react. They probably added this in during editing, creating an illusion. Marvin M. Kerner in the book ‘The Art of the Sound Effects Editor (1989)’ says ‘With the addition of a few sound effects, it is possible to inform the audience that he has driven up to the house, parked his car, walked to the door, and used his key to unlock the door. None of this was shot. It was an illusion created with effects. ‘. He explains that by adding in sound, the audience can presume things that are happening in the scene, without actually seeing them happen.
They also add in the sound of the phone ringing. This fills the scene at more because it means there is more going on. Also, because it is high pitch it create a more intense and uncomfortable atmosphere. Marvin M. Kerner also say that you add sound to create a mood. “‘Cut a gunshot and you are telling the audience that another human is nearby. Is he friend or foe?’Anticipation, possible danger, fear, joy – all are being evoked. Which should you be feeling?” http://filmsound.org/articles/purposeofsoundeffects.htm. He is talking about how you can add sounds to create a stronger atmosphere. I used the idea of adding a non diagetic sound to make a more ‘homely’ atmosphere. I added a clock as it creates a house like effect, as most houses have a clock.
Another key lesson I found from research is that in children films, especially animations, the sound effects are more comedic and more unrealistic. This is to create more of a comedic effect. Also, because it’s for children, it gives the audience more of an idea of what is going on. An example of this is in ‘Road Runner and Wile E Coyote.’ In the TV series, they add sound for comedy. For example, the sound of Wile E Coyote running. They add this in to show the speed of him falling. Also, they increase the volume of sounds that would be quite. The do this to make it more funny for children as its dramatized. In my final film, I added a loud scribbling sound when the boy is drawing. It wouldn’t be this loud, but I made it loud to make it more clear what he was doing. Also, it makes him one of the main focuses for the scene because the sound draws your attention to him.
I planned my foley project by firstly picking a clip that I thought I could do. Firstly, I picked Chicken Run, but after analyzing it further, I realized that it would be very difficult as some of the sounds would of been very hard to make without layering several sounds. I then changed to to a clip from the short film ‘Domestic Appliances.’ I chose this because this clip because there were less sounds to record and more room to be creative.
Secondly, I analyzing the clip, and wrote down all the sounds that I found within the time frame and what time they were at. I did this because I could then think about how I could record the sounds. I then watched it again without sound and wrote down what other sounds (non diagetic) I could imagine in the scene.
Next, I thought about how I could create the sounds. I had to do different test runs because some of the sounds didn’t work as well as I thought. For example, I tried using a real newspapers pages turning for the sound effect for the newspaper. However, I found the sound was too quiet and subtle to add in. Instead, I used a notebook with heavy and thicker pages. This made a louder and more obvious sound. I wanted it like this because I think that it draws more attention to the character. I then recorded all the sounds I needed.
I think the production progress was successful because I thought I planned well and quickly fixed mistakes and made them better.
Something that didn’t work was firstly picking a clip. When I picked a clip, I didn’t take into consideration how much sound or how I could makes the sounds. This became a problem when I did a test run . I realized that it was very hard to make the sounds that were needed. I changed my clip to something easier and shorter. I did this because I knew it was the best thing to do as it would still challenge me yet it would be more simple because I have barely any experience with foley.
Something else that went wrong was that I didn’t have a dead cat or anything to cover the microphone with. This was because all of them were leant out. Next time, I will make sure I have a dead cat before I record any sounds. Not having a dead cat made all the recordings have a static background and picked up wind. This was a problem as it would’ve made the final video look unprofessional as the sound wasn’t very clean. This meant I had to do it again with a dead cat, the sounds were cleaner and made it look more diagetic to the scene.
I found it hard to record sound. This is because initially I didn’t understand a lot of the settings. To overcome this, I made sure that I leant properly how to do the recordings. I did this by practicing how to record sound with people who knew. The showed me how to do it well and make it sound clean. I also found it hard because I struggled to work out how to make the sounds. For example, how to create the TV music sound like it was tinny and old. I tried using effects but it wasn’t working very well. I then tried playing the song from my phone, and recording that. This made the sounds more like it was coming out of an old TV. Then when editing, I put effects on to make it sound more echoey. The created a good overall effect.
Lessons I’ve learnt
I have leant from this process how to create sounds and record them. It is important to know how to sound record because most DSLRs need to have external sound recording, as the microphones inbuilt in them normally aren’t that good. Also, if you are filming on film, you defiantly need to record sound externally.
I’ve also learnt how to build up and add sounds into a scene to build it up. I learnt how to organize them with colours so they are easier to edit.
Sound is very important in film. I think that sound is more important then picture sometimes because if it’s not clear, it distracts the audience from what is actually going on. The audience will then focus more on the bad sound rather then what’s going on in the film. Stephen Follows says that all directors really think ”People forgive bad picture, but they don’t forgive bad sound.” https://stephenfollows.com/what-film-festival-directors-really-think/. I think that this is very true because of the way audiences react to films with bad audio.