Film and TV1 – Creating the Sound Design

Select from one of the readings, up to but not including Week 5, and briefly describe two points that you have taken from it. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you.

Alten, S. 1994, Creating the Sound Design, Audio in media, (p266-286). Belmont: Wadsworth

Sound is something I have only become actively aware of in the last 18 months since i’ve become interested in radio documentary more and more and that interest has made me pay attention to how sound is used in visual media as well. Alten’s reading on Creating Sound Design was relatively dry but helpful in building a more thorough knowledge base for me to work from. My notes on the reading are here.

I found it interesting to read about the Functions of Sound in Relation to picture, where Alten highlights that there are 5 relationships: 1. Sound Parallels Picture 2. Sound Defines Picture 3. Picture Defines Sound 4. Sound and Picture Define Effect and 5. Sound Counterpoints Picture. In the same way that I was never taught Grammar at school but am expected to have an instinctual understanding of how to use it, I feel like these relationships, while I understand how to interpret them as an audience member, would be difficult for me to explain on my own. Having my awareness extended is really helpful going forward as a wannabe filmmaker.

I also enjoyed reading about Music and that “linear sound provides melody and rhythm; simultaneous sound provides harmony and texture.” Again, venturing into the unknown for me in terms of intellectualising something I am exposed to daily and could probably poorly describe the sound I wanted to hear, but wouldn’t be able to articulate that the sound needs to be linear or simultaneous.

It’s difficult to get particularly analytical about this reading. I found it really helpful and am sure I will reference it when creating sound design for our projects all year and beyond; it’s a lot of unknown information, and certainly heightens my awareness as an audience member, but I didn’t find myself going off on tangential thoughts and finding more questions from the new information – this probably highlights what a wealth of knowledge there is for me to still discover in the world of sound.

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