Category Archives: Workflow – Sound

Workflow – Sound

Supporting the story with sound

All audio was edited using Audacity

Backing Song

Julia Dawn You Are My Sunshine (Davis & Mitchell) (2007). MP3.

I decided my original choice, a vocal work by Lisa Gerrard, while beautiful was too cute. This final choice was chosen because it has an edge to it and is a mixture, in lyrics and sound, of both hope and a warning against loss which reflects Reign Man’s state of mind. Following feedback, I raised the audio level on the song.

Update to final backing music

The music backing the video has been changed. I have replaced the song with an industrial piece of music that reflects the sound of Reign Man’s inner world: an electrical hum, the sound of energy.

Sound Effects:

Rain & thunder
The sound and sight of rain is often used in film to reflect a gloomy state of mind of the protagonist and is therefore appropriate to feature in the opening sequence.
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The lightning flash happens just before Reign Man begins to move inside his mind. The sound can represent part of the weather reflecting his mood (see above) and can also represent that flash of insight that he experiences just prior to going inwards.
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The voices represent persistent intrusive thoughts that bother Reign Man. They are not specific in what they are saying to ensure the subject matter may be decided by the viewer/listener based on their experience rather than imposed by the film maker.
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The most common responses to survey questions as to what tinnitus sounds like are high-pitched crickets or bells. I have therefore placed a high pitched sound in the brain sequence where we see the swarming grasshoppers. Since the sound is intensely irritating, its level has been adjusted so as to only slightly impinge and therefore not discourage viewers from continuing to watch the film.
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The emojis represent binary thinking and the giggling that accompanies the emoji rainfall represents the inane and un-nuanced thought patterns associated with this form of thinking.
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The sound associated with the material being sprayed out of his umbrella.
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The wheezing sound indicates to the listener that the spray is having the effect of suffocating its targets.
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Giggle single
The sound of the final large emoji trying to impose its thought pattern on Reign Man.
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The sound accompanying the firing umbrella/gun.
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The sound reflecting the explosion of the large emoji.
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The feedback suggesting I raise the audio level on the backing song was instructive. In putting a project together, the film maker can hear a backing song over and over and become very used to its presence and what the lyrics are saying. This familiarity can lead to the decision to lower the audio level on the grounds that the audience will hear what the film maker is hearing, which may not be the case.
The lesson here is to preview work with someone unfamiliar with the work to ensure that what is being communicated in the work is being successfully communicated.
This lesson can apply to all elements that go to make up a film or other work.
My final decision on the music background came about because I decided that I wanted an emphasis on the visual aspects of the story rather than layering over that with a song; the words interrupted the viewer’s reception of the visual story.

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