Sound Journal What role does sound play in a film?

Sound is crucial when wanting to add a more dynamic viewing experience for audience, and also creating a believable world through verisimilitude. Especially in a piece such as ours, it was important to use sound heavily as there was no dialogue in our film. Also, sound can be used for entertainment and helping the narrative flow better, using score music in the background and non-diagetic synchronous music heightens the quality of the film making it more entertaining and original. Sound allows the audience to watch as well as listen, as certain clues may be given away through the use of sound. We did this with the ‘doorbell’ noise right at the very end of our piece to indicate that Lara has arrived and Bobby has messed up.

What did the role involve?
The role involved looking for sounds that would fit an action/scene in the film, bearing in mind these files had to be in an audio mp3 format, downloading them to the desktop, then using final cut pro to add the sound clip over a certain shot. We used methods such as an MP3 converter to convert youtube videos into audio clips to get the score music we needed, and also used online sources for sounds such as the voicemail, in an English accent to make it more believable as opposed to using an American accent. The programme me and the editor used most was SoundTrack Pro, which is essentially a database of different audio clips, ranging from guitars to airplane sounds, this was helpful using the search tool to try and find different sounds that would fit in well with our film.

Were any problems encountered?
Some audio files seemed to be corrupt and did not sound clear once added to the film, also, it was difficult cutting down the songs used to use lyrics that were appropriately suited to the narrative and action in the film. It was also challenging finding the right score music and atmospheric music, as the background noise often had speech from the director giving direction to the camera person and actor. We had to manipulate sound from other clips and add it onto the ‘TV’ shot in the beginning to make it more realistic, as having silence does not truly represent the actor watching tv.

What has taking on this role taught me?
I have learned how to use SoundTrack Pro and elements of Final Cut Pro when adding sounds onto the production, and it has helped me understand the importance of sound effects and how much they can heighten the entertainment for the audience. I have also learned that when sound is synced with action, it makes the viewing experience more enjoyable and meaningful especially when music is used with lyrics to narrate a scene without dialogue from the actors.