agenda :: 2/10

writing warm-up: use this warm-up time to write a bit about your project and fill me on on how it’s going. can you describe your idea in a sentence or two? how are you paying attention to the use of sound specifically in your piece? is it a focus on diegetic, in-scene audio? or are you paying more attention to non-diegetic sounds like narration, score, etc.? what have you gotten accomplished so far in the shooting/editing, and what remains to be done for thursday?


  • 2001: a space odyssey (1968) ::  opening credits; from earth to the moon; cut loose – my mind is going :: each of these sequences has its own strengths – the opening credits are perhaps one of the most recognizable themes in cinema; the ballet of space flight; crafting the sounds of space and working with silence
  • eraserhead (1977) :: opening sequence :: a DIY approach to interesting soundscapes on a budget. david lynch used a variety of sources to create the soundtrack and droning ambient noises that make up henry’s world. later, sound plays an increasingly important role as he is drawn to a song coming from his radiator and is tormented by the shrill cries of his mutated offspring.
  • there will be blood (2007) :: explosion sequence :: a good example here of building a soundtrack that mirrors a scene. the driving percussion of the score blends easily in with the diagetic sounds of the oil well, and creates a fast-paced tempo for the sequence
  • the artist :: opening sequence; sound nightmare :: this is a film from 2011 that is designed to look and feel like a movie from the silent film era of the 1930s. the opening sequence sets the stage and shows us how major the role of the film score was in this era – films were never truly silent, but almost always accompanied by a score of some kind, sometimes played live by an orchestra – sometimes this score attempted to imitate the diagetic sound of events on screen, other times it helped set the mood of the sequence. the lead character in this story is a silent film actor who becomes frightened of the shift from silent movies into “talkies”. the “sound nightmare” sequence is another great example of when characters on screen interact with sound in ways that break the established pattern.
  • stranger than fiction :: harold hears the narrator :: what happens when non-diagetic sound like narration becomes diagetic? this movie as a whole explores this idea, but we’ll watch just the first part when the trick is revealed.

audacity demo: audacity is a free audio editing and multitracking software available for both mac and pc. if you need a more robust way to manipulate or build an audio soundtrack, this might be a good option. you might also find some interesting resources online, such as which allows users to share and download free audio files of all kinds. some very basic things you can do with audacity:

  1. import and edit audio (cut down a selection)
  2. multitrack and layer audio tracks
  3. other effects and audio treatment

group work: get back together with the groups you met with last time and share the audio recordings you were asked to bring to class today. you can either tell everyone what it is and why you found it interesting, or have them guess where it came from if you like. discuss whether any of these sounds have inspired your upcoming project, or if another idea has come to mind. if you’ve settled on an idea, explain it in as much detail as you can to your group members and gather feedback about any questions you may have. by the time you leave today, you should have decided on your concept for video project ii and be ready to begin shooting. if a group member is stuck for ideas, help them come to a solution. remember, this completed project will be screened in class on thursday!

independent work time: now that you’ve got the idea, grab a camera and get to work! if you’d like to stick around and talk to me about your project, you’re more than welcome.


  • finish video project ii: sound interpretation. these should be uploaded to youtube or vimeo and posted to your blog by the beginning of class on thursday. since we’ll need time to watch everyone’s work, our discussion will be much longer than for video project i, so be on time and ready to go at the beginning of class.
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