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Audio-Visual Medium | John M Morelock: Storyteller
May 16, 2021

Audio-Visual Medium

By In Blog, Narrative Structure

In my latest crit of Air Mail, which you can watch here, my lecturer’s main critique was that I did not use sound design to its fullest extent. In my last post I described film as a visual medium. While I stand by this as being true, I was only looking at half the picture. There is a whole side to filmmaking that is more often over looked than any other. It’s sound design.

My attention was brought to the following video which showcases Wes Anderson’s best uses of sound design. I encourage you to have a look for yourself. Many of the sounds are other worldly, yet so incredibly fitting. They bring the film to life in many ways the picture alone could not.

Think of all the times the sounds of a film truly made it feel more real. Especially in films such as Star Wars where the audience totally has to suspend our disbelief, the sound of a blaster or an engine can keep an audience member absorbed in this other world.

As a writer, sound is the area I have thought about the least coming into film making. I often find myself envisioning a script in my mind, how it would be shot, how it could be edited together. But I almost never envision what a film would sound like. What strange noises are disturbing the character or the audience? What opportunities are there to heighten drama with sounds? Through the process of becoming a better film maker, my writing has improved drastically, incorporating shot design and edits into the script’s structure itself. To reach the next level, I will need to gain a better understanding of what sound is capable of.

As I move into the summer, I would like to pay particular attention to sound in the films that I watch. I hope that, as I roll into next year, I will be able to more fully incorporate this aspect of film making into my process.


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