Category: Film and TV1

Film and TV1 – Rolling response

In 300 words or less describe what you thought worked or didn’t. At this stage we don’t expect you to have a great deal of film knowledge or language. Don’t be afraid to use your own words. Things you could talk about – script, casting, timing, camera movement, location. You may not remember much detail, if so, it could be helpful to talk about your first impressions, after all this is what most of us are left with after one viewing.

I really enjoyed Rolling. I thought it was a simple idea well executed. The script was great in that it managed to give exactly enough information without feeling like there was exposition taking up precious time which I guess ties in with my impression of timing which I thought was really excellent.

Camera movement could use a little work, I thought the tracking shot at the very begging was a bit distracting, especially without control over the lighting of the set. I think the production design also could have benefited with a bit more thought, the signs were a little distracting – it wasn’t obvious whether they were meant to be written by the protagonist or his housemates.

I thought the casting of the guy was great, he conveyed the energy of the character really well. The girl was a little less convincing for me. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what she was trying to convey, whether she was trying to be super earnest or whether she was supposed to know exactly what was going on and toying with him.

Overall though I found it really enjoyable and very impressive. I’d be thrilled if our film was as effective!


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.

Film and TV1 – Clown Train soundscape

In the film Clown Train how does sound contribute to the atmosphere of this film? Describe what you heard? Can you make reference to another genre film and how they utilise sound to create tension and a unique filmic space?

Clown Train very effectively creates a tense, suspenseful atmosphere through the clever use of sound. Not only do the sound effects keep you on edge, but they also distract from the fact that the train is completely static, which could have made for a far less entertaining film. The sound effects conjure the feeling of isolation, anxiety and even nighttime in me as an audience member.

In Silence of the Lambs when Clarice tells Hannibal about why she left the range the sound effects used are particularly subtle but very effective. As Hannibal probes into Clarice’s memory we hear a hollow wind that let’s us know Clarice’s mind has gone back to that time, it also brings on the sense of isolation and fear she felt at that time and those emotions she still accesses through her nightmares.

Writing a script for Film and TV has made me realise how helpful production aspects like sound design and set design can be for guiding the audience to better understanding the character’s past and current motivations; essentially to reduce the exposition necessary in dialogue. I have become increasingly aware of the cues sound design is giving me which is great in terms of appreciating the craft and what thought goes into achieving the end result.


Readings: Creating the Sound Design

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


Sound provides cognitive information and affective information.

Sound can be grouped into three categories: music, sounds, and speech.

The basic components of sound structure include pitch, loudness, timbre, tempo, rhythm, attack, duration, and decay


“Speech has basically two functions, narration and dialogue, and conveys meaning primarily through emphasis, inflection, and aural mood.” pg 268


Direct Narration – describes what is being seen or heard

Indirect Narration– gives further information while the action in the scene speaks for itself

Contrapuntal narration – as the term suggests, counterpoints narration and action to make a composite statement not explicitly carried in either element.

Although the particular narrational approach depends on the script, understanding the influences of narration on content in general results in a better-conceived sound design.

Other elements of speech:




Aural Mood of Words and Sentences

– “The second sentence contains rounder, gentler sounds that provide less of a sonic complement to the verbal meaning.” pp270


Contextual sounds

Narrative Sound

– Descriptive sound

– Commentative sound – can also describe but it makes an additional statement

The effects of sound effects: defining space, establishing locale, creating environment, emphasizing and intensifying action, depicting identity, setting pace, providing counterpoint, symbolizing meaning, and unifying transition.

Defining Space – sound defines space by establishing distance, direction of movement, position, openness, and dimension.

Establishing Locale

Creating Environment

Emphasizing Action

Intensifying Action

Depicting Identity

Setting Pace

Providing Counterpoint

Symbolizing Meaning

Unifying Transition

– overlapping occurs when the sound used at the end of one scene continues, without pause, into the next scene.

– A lead-in occurs when the audio that introduces a scene is heard before the scene actually begins.

– A segue


– linear sound provides melody and rhythm; simultaneous sound provides harmony and texture.

Melody– Melody is a succession of pitched musical tones of varied durations.

– Generally, if a melody moves in narrowly pitched steps and ranges, it tends to be expressive and emotional. If it moves in widely pitched steps and ranges, it tends to be conservative and unexpressive.

Harmony – is a simultaneous sounding of two or more tones

consonance in music is produced by agreeable, settled, balanced, stable-sounding chords. dissonance is produced by unsettled, unstable, unresolved, tense-sounding chords.

Dynamic Range 

Crescendo – changes sound level from quiet or moderate to loud.

Diminuendo – changes level from loud to soft

Tremolo– a rapidly repeated ampliude modulation


– style is a fixed, identifiable musical quality uniquely expressed, executed, or performed.


– It is music’s unique and universal language and vast vocabulary that make is so widely applicable in aural communication.  pp 276

– establishing locale

– emphasizing action

– intensifying action

– depicting identity

-setting pace

– providing counterpoing

– unifying transition

– fixing time

– recalling or foretelling events

– evoking atmosphere, feeling, or mood


– But is the pauses or silences between words, sounds and musical notes that help to create rhythm, contrast, and power- elements important to sonic communication.


When discussing the sound-picture relationship there are five relationships:

1. Sound parallels picture

2. Sound defines picture

3. Picture defines ound

4. Sound and picture define effect

5. Sound counterpoints picture

sound parallels picture – neither the aural nor the visual element is dominant. In other words, what you see is what you hear.

sound defines picture – when sound defines picture, not only is audio dominant, but it also often determines the point of view.

picture degines sound –  Picture helps to define sound by calling attention to particular actions or images

sound and picture define effect – when sound and picture define effect, the aural and visual elements are different, yet complementary.

Sound counterpoints picture – when sound counterpoints picture, both elements contain unrelated information that creates an effect of meaning not suggested by either element alone.


The school of documentarists producing in the cinema verite style record life without imposing upon it; production values do not motivate or influence content.

– microphone selection and placement could be designed to emphasize a harsh cutting sound suggesting an insensitivity toward the poor… All of these approaches to the sound design enhance overall impact and meaning without compromising the cinema verite style.

Readings: Sound Design

Alten, S 1994, Sound design, Audio in media, pp5-11, Belmont: Wadsworth

– Mainly useful for understanding the different elements of sound and how to achieve the desired effect you wish to communicate. 

In sound, the emotion communicates the idea, which is more direct and therefore more powerful. All sound possesses a quality which communicates a specific emotion or idea to the listener.

Sound crew select and operate microphones, operate the production consol, production recording, producing and recording sound effects, producing music, recording and re-recording dialogue, editing, and mixing.


Microphones can affect the tonal quality of a sound source.

If a mic is situated close to people speaking it can create an intimate, warm sound. Father away could create a sense of distance and, perhaps, coolness.



-highness or lowness of a sound

– high pitched sound often suggests something delicate, bright, or elevated.

– low pitched sound may indicate something sinister, strong, or peaceful.


Loudness or softness.

Loudness- closeness, strength, importance.

Softness- distance, weakness, tranquility


the charactersitic tonal quality of a sound.

Identifies sound source- reedy, brassy, tympanic

Identified sonic qualities – rich, this, edgy, metallic.


The speed of a sound – fast tempos can agitate, excite or accelerate; slow tempos may suggest monotony, dignity, or control.


sonic time pattern – can be simple, constant, complex, or changing.

simple rhythm can convey deliberateness, regularity, or a lack of complication.

Constant can convey dullness, depression, or uniformity.


the way sound begins – hard, soft, crips, or gradual.


How long a song lasts


how fast a sound fades from a certain loudness.


Sound design represents the overall artistic styling of the sonic fabric in an audio production.” pp5

“If you are not listening, sound remains part of the environment; it does not become part of your consciousness.” pp7

“The more significant elements common to all sounds include pitch, volume, timbre, tempo, rhythm, duration, attack, and decay.” pp10

Film and TV1 reading reflection

Select from one of the readings from week 1 or 2 and briefly describe two points that you have taken from that reading. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you

Millard, K. 2006, Writing for the Screen: Beyond the Gospel of Story, Scan Journal, Vol 3, Number 2.

Reading Millard’s text felt a lot like learning about Grammar to me. Where she highlights the cliches to avoid and the rules to follow when writing for the screen and then goes on to advocate breaking those rules but only when you know how to. Like ‘Never start a sentence with Because or And’ etc.

To me it seemed that Millard was trying to convey the invaluable quality that cinema affords the creator in it’s ability to capture magic. Millard quotes Pomeranz (2006) in saying that “Cinema has certain qualities, and it’s the image. Sometimes this image has its own breathing or tempo. It has to linger, and will linger because you want to have more”. From my understand Millard is highlighting that part of cinema is rolling the camera and being available to capture as much as possible; that you can craft the perfect script and exercise maximum control over every element of the shoot, but that if you are not open to lightning striking and moving with the unexpected to discover new things, you wont be doing your art justice.

As someone who aspires to create art in some capacity I don’t think i’m alone in finding it difficult to relinquish the notion of control lest it means also relinquishing the sense of ownership to the work that I am entitled to feel. Millard confronts that impulse in me, and encourages the rational understanding of the potential benefit of fresh eyes and random influence and collaboration whether with other people or just with running with the real life interruptions to planned activities.

Millard also quotes McKee, and if i’m honest i’m not sure I have a complete grasp of Millard or McKee’s assertions. McKee is quoted with “While the ever-expanding reach of the media now gives us the stories to send beyond borders and languages to hundreds of millions, the overall quality of storytelling is eroding… The art of story is in decay, and as Aristotle observed twenty three hundred years ago, when storytelling goes bad, the result is decadence.” (1997)

I am not sure whether ‘The art of story is in decay’ is a comment on the decline in quality of story, or if it is that artfulness is found by exploring the grittiness of life. In fact, I have discovered through the help of my friend wikipedia that I have had a very limited understanding of the word decadence to mean indulgence and excess and never appreciate it’s origin being decay. I am going to have to think on what this quote means more… It struck me originally and I took it to be a comment on an overexposure to stories, leads to an overexposure to bad stories and we as a public are conditioned to accept and expect stories to follow these poor models…

I’ll return to this, I’m not convinced I understand exactly what Millard is intending with this quote yet.





Jasmine’s Screenwriting Lecture


Jasmine spoke about screenwriting as writing with an exterior focus, something that needs to be mindful of the visual quality necessitating characters to react outwardly. This is something that challenges me because I am quite an introspective person and the old adage “write what you know”, whether I like it or not, does come into play in my writing style. I am not a particularly visual writer nor reader. Meaning I don’t form vivid images of how characters look or the world of a story when I read, despite my ability to get lost in stories. I think I am more drawn to the interior world of the characters.
That being said as an audience member I can fully appreciate the necessity and value of the visual component of story telling film and television affords us. As I write this I realise one of my story ideas was completely interior and while I could visualise exactly what it would look like, I sensed the gap between what the interior world of the character is, the beautiful quality of the environment it would be filmed in and the divide in how the visuals could communicate the interior- I should have revisited the lecture before working on the story ideas!
Jasmine also talked about narrative; the three act structure and the protagonist/anti-protaganist, status quo interrupted etc. I have taken creative writing classes in the past which has alerted to me of the norms of scriptwriting and classic story telling so this wasn’t a particularly revelatory moment for me, I do continue to feel cheated that I can recognise these sign posts of creative writing in works that seem so original to me when lacking an analytical eye.

Film and TV1 – goals and desires.

 This semester I would like to gain better experience with the technical side of production as well as follow through on writing and have the courage to actually apply proper effort and not shy away due to a fear of failure. In Particular:

Develop my proficiency using a camera

  • take time to conceive and frame shots/ consider white balance and focus and maximise the potential of a shot.
  • if someone else is responsible for the camera be mindful of what they’re doing rather than  denying myself a passive learning experience.
  • actively involve myself in the areas I feel less competent so I can learn.

Don’t allow lack of effort to be an excuse to fail, or even to not succeed to the extent I would like to.

  • Dedicate an appropriate amount of time to play with ideas and give my imagination room to move
  • write proactively so as not to end up doing a “rush job”

Recognise when I need to work to achieve other people’s vision and engage in that and enjoy the process. 


I have really enjoyed Film and TV1. I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been able to enjoy the technical aspects of film. I appreciated the consistent attention we gave to learning skills in the tutorials and lectures. It was great to have the opportunity to revisit things the next week to solidify the process in our memory.

I think I did a good job with taking the opportunity to learn about other roles than my own by observation. I would have liked to learn more about lighting and editing but with the lighting it was a case of needing to let people do what they had to to get things done. The editing was poor time management and, my experience so far has been that for the most part it’s a one man job. We weren’t very productive when it was an edit by committee situation and Kai did a fantastic job of bringing our film together. I’m hoping next semester I can be more involved in that aspect.

I have really loved this course but it has been a bit overwhelming in terms of workload. I think I burnt myself out a little bit so that by the time filming was over I didn’t have the energy I would have liked to have to put into post production. That I think is probably just a reality of the course, that a lot of work needs to be done combined with my not knowing how to alleviate time pressures else where to give myself the proper time to work on Film and TV.

Going forward It would be nice to have a more comprehensive list of the assessment and due dates for everything that needs to be done through semester. I found on several occasions this semester assessment pieces/deadlines took me by surprise and it was more difficult to give things the attention I would have liked to because I wasn’t able to map it out in advance.