The focus this week is sound design and the use of aesthetic choices.
Begin your week reading Chapters 7 and 8 in your textbook.
Chapter 7 focuses on Editing while Chapter 8 encompasses Sound and Music.
The editor is the individual responsible for editing the film. Many times, this job can encompass as much creative input as the job of the director. A good editor can take mediocre footage and, by artful cutting, intercutting and with the addition of a moving soundtrack, can turn it into an exciting piece of film. It is not uncommon, these days, for an editor and assistant editor to begin work on a picture during pre-production and to begin assembling dailies during production. If the picture is not complicated, a rough cut can be completed within four to six weeks after principal photography ends.
Editing is the process of selecting, arranging and assembling a film and its sound track into a logical, rhythmic story progression. The stages of editing are: rough cut (the first logical assembly of the chosen footage), fine cut (a more intricately worked version), final cut (the version to which the negative will be conformed and from which release prints will be struck). However, it should be noted that the editing process evolves rather than being comprised of finite stages.
As you read about the Editor and begin to apply the information to film, ask yourself:
Which types of shots did they use
In what order do the shots appear
How long are the shots on the screen
This is a good way to begin your analysis.
Figure 7.1 Editing Transitions Chart is a wonderful, condensed chart defining direct-cuts, fade-outs and fade-ins, dissolves, wipes, irises and jump-cuts. These are terms you will want to use in Discussion 1.
To successfully complete this week s discussion Cinematography and Editing Options, explore movie clips from the Movieclips website or IMDB. Choose a clip that you wish to analyze. The clip you choose must be from a film (preferably from a film with which you are familiar) not a film trailer or a mash-up.
After you have chosen a clip, write a discussion post about the following:
In your discussion, analyze at least three elements of cinematography and editing by evaluating the dramatic impact of the scene. Interpret the scene based on your analysis. In your view, what mood, symbolism, or meaning results from the scene s creative editing and cinematography Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references
After watching the movie clips reviewed by your classmates, compare how the scenes would be different had the editors or cinematographers chosen other options. Each response should be a minimum of 125 words
There are three categories of sound:
Dialogue refers to the written, printed or spoken conversation between two or more individuals; in a script, dialogue means any one or more spoken lines, even by an actor appearing in a scene alone.
If you ve never looked at an actual film script, you will be amazed at not only the detail regarding visual elements, but also the limited amount of dialogue. Here is a link to the full movie script for Django Unchained. Check out the use of dialogue!
2. Sound Effects
This includes all artificially-created or natural sounds (other than music or dialogue). These sounds, such as a door opening Creaky door, a bird chirping Robin chirping glass breaking Glass breaking, are recorded separately (wild sound) or transferred from a library of sound effects.
The foley artist is the individual who specializes in creating ordinary, synchronized sound effects, such as footsteps, door slamming, keys jingling, glasses clinking, etc., in a soundproofed foley studio. The studio is equipped with various types of sound-effects producing materials and a large screen fro watching the necessary film tracks. These types of sound effects, called foleys, are named after Jack Foley (1891-1967), inventor of this process of custom-designing sound effects in a specially equipped sound studio.
When we discuss the music of a film, we are referring to the score and the soundtrack. The score refers to all the music heard in a film, TV show or stage play. As a verb, to score the film, means to compose or provide a score.
A little survey for film score fanatics. I wonder how many of the following you would agree with, it makes interesting reading!
In 2005, A jury of over 500 film artists, composers, musicians, critics and historians selected John Williams iconic score from the classic film STAR WARS as the most memorable film score of all time. John Williams is additionally noteworthy as the most represented composer on the list with three scores making the top 25.
The full nominations of 100 film scores can be viewed 100 Years of Film Scores
An interesting top 25 was chosen, the most modern score being from The Mission (1986) Ennio Morricone. I wonder if the same survey was done today if any more modern scores would creep in to the top 25.
The top 25 scores voted for were:
# FILM YEAR STUDIO COMPOSER
1 STAR WARS 1977 Twentieth Century Fox John Williams
2 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939 MGM Max Steiner
3 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962 Columbia Maurice Jarre
4 PSYCHO 1960 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
5 THE GODFATHER 1972 Paramount Nino Rota
6 JAWS 1975 Universal John Williams
7 LAURA 1944 Twentieth Century Fox David Raksin
8 THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN 1960 United Artists Elmer Bernstein
9 CHINATOWN 1974 Paramount Jerry Goldsmith
10 HIGH NOON 1952 United Artists Dimitri Tiomkin
11 THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD 1938 Warner Bros. Erich Wolfgang Korngold
12 VERTIGO 1958 Paramount Bernard Herrmann
13 KING KONG 1933 RKO Max Steiner
14 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982 Universal John Williams
15 OUT OF AFRICA 1985 Universal John Barry
16 SUNSET BLVD. 1950 Paramount Franz Waxman
17 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962 Universal Elmer Bernstein
18 PLANET OF THE APES 1968 Twentieth Century Fox Jerry Goldsmith
19 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951 Warner Bros. Alex North
20 THE PINK PANTHER 1964 United Artists Henry Mancini
21 BEN-HUR 1959 MGM Miklos Rozsa
22 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954 Columbia Leonard Bernstein
23 THE MISSION 1986 Warner Bros. Ennio Morricone
24 ON GOLDEN POND 1981 Universal Dave Grusin
25 HOW THE WEST WAS WON 1962 MGM, Cinerama Releasing Alfred Newman
The soundtrack is the audio portion of a film divided into three or four separate tracks or channels: dialogue, music, effects and a spillover track for additional sounds. An optical sound track is made from the mixed tracks before it is printed onto the side of the film in the lab. It is not uncommon for many separate units (there can be hundreds) to be individually edited and then mixed, to produce the final sound track. The soundtrack can also refer to the recorded version of a film s musical score, available to purchase.
The Impact of Cinematography and Editing Options
In your first discussion, begin by exploring movie clips from the Movieclips website or IMDb.
Analyze at least three elements of cinematography and editing (e.g., lighting, color, shots, focus, transitions, and types of cuts) by evaluating the dramatic impact of the scene. Interpret the scene based on your analysis. In your view, what mood, symbolism, or meaning results from the scene s creative editing and cinematography
Categories and Functions of Sound
This week’s second discussion will consider different types of sound at work in film and assess how they contribute to the overall sense of meaning in a film.
There are many types of sound in a film. Some are diegetic (sounds that are represented as coming from within the world of the film); others are non-diegetic (sounds that come from outside the world of the film). Using specific examples from your chosen film, construct a blog post in which you:
Describe each of the three basic categories of sound (dialogue, sound effects, and music).
Explain how the different categories of sound are being used in your chosen film.
Assess the impact of sound in establishing the theme.
Assess how the scene or sequence would play differently if you changed or removed a key category of sound.
You must use at least two outside sources, in any combination of embedded video clips, still photos, or scholarly sources. All sources should be documented in APA style, as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center.
Select a movie from AFI’s 10 Top 10 List and explain how three cinematic techniques and/or design elements have helped establish a major theme in that film.
In 800 to 1200 words:
Describe a major theme of the movie you have selected using evidence from the movie itself as well as course resources and other scholarly sources to support your position.
Identify at least three techniques (cinematography, lighting, acting style, or direction) and/or design elements (set design, costuming, or hair and makeup), and explain how these techniques and/or design elements contribute to the establishment of the theme. Reference particular scenes or sequences in your explanations.
State your opinion regarding the mise-en-sc ne, including:
How do the elements work together
How congruent the design elements are with the theme of the movie
Whether or not other techniques would be as effective (Explain your reasoning).
Self Check and Quiz
Don’t forget these!
Have a productive week. I look forward to reading your posts!
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Harmon, R. (1998). Film directing: Killer style & cutting edge technique. Los Angeles, CA: Lone Eagle Publishing Company.