Setting the mood

One of my favourite sound tracks is from one of my favourite movies, Apocalypse Now.
This video is the opening scene, opening with sound and a black screen, immediately impinging on the viewers’ ears the archetypal sound of the Vietnam War, the Huey helicopter. As the visuals begin and the wonderful and appropriate dirge-like sound of the Doors’ This is the end  start we are introduced to a montage of elements of the Vietnam War experience with the sound of the helicopter underscoring the song. The first words spoken in a bleary and drink and cigarette-ruined voice are “Saigon…shit”.
Coppola’s entire film emphasises how powerful a contribution sound can make to the film experience and is a reminder to acknowledge the contribution audio makes when putting a film together.

This video gives some of the background to that opening sequence and the care taken in creating it.


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