Forbidden Lies – An Audio Analysis

The clip begins with a satirical musical number, which narrates the equally ironic visual love story. This song can be stripped down to vocals, guitar, and a synth/violin, with the vocals being the dominant layer. The cheesy sound effects, such as the chimes, the tweeting birds and the ‘whooshing’ of the flying burka are layered intermittently over the top of the music. This is interrupted by the pausing sound of a cassette, and soon followed by a chiming cash register. It is unlikely that these stock-standard sounds were recorded by the filmmaker specifically for the film, but instead sourced externally.

As the film begins to follow the Israeli journalist, we hear her describe her life via voiceover. This would have been recorded in a master interview in a contrived setting, with, most likely, a lapel microphone. Her introduction is backed with very faint Arabic music providing a slight ambience. The chime sound effect is sounded to mark the transition between the discussion of herself, to that of the book. This sound reoccurs throughout the clip to divide separate parts of dialogue.
Sound plays a crucial part in the next sequence as we hear the three different subjects reading the book. Each subject would have been requested to read the specific sections in their master interviews, allowing the film to cut between the three of them reading the passage out loud. We then hear the author’s voice layered above the journalist, both reading the same section. The predominant voice in the mix matches the visual – the author.

Upbeat music sounds as the journalist and Dr.Sabbagh begin to rapidly expose the flaws from the book. Voiceover is used during the re-enactments and location shots, cutting between the authors voice reading the questionable passages from the book, and the arguments from the two investigators.

As each flaw is revealed, a sound effect is layered above the music; the camera shutter, the rattle, the cash register to make the vanishing ashtray and the cartoon sounds as the building disintegrates.

In the re-enactments, sound effects match the action on screen, which possibly could have been recorded during or after the filming. For example, the lighting of the cigarette could have been a live sound, or edited in during postproduction, as for the rattling of the change in the hand. It is more likely that these sounds were added in after the recording.

One common technique throughout the clip is the continuation of dialogue from one shot to the top of the proceeding sequence. For example, the journalist begins talking about the café whilst in the frame. This audio continues in the background whilst the shot cuts to the café itself. The dialogue continues as a voiceover with the café in the shot before the video cuts to the point in time where the audio recording took place, as she enters the café.

The recording of the voice from the phone may have been achieved through the use of phone call recording software, an audio ‘re-enactment’ of the voice, or simply as displayed on the video, by recording the live conversation via speakerphone, held close to a lapel microphone on the journalist. Whichever way, the voice from the phone is mixed at an equal level to the voice of the journalist so the audience hears the dialogue as a clear conversation.



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