Week 7

This week we focus on materialisation and dematerialization, Michel Chion’s MSI. Materialisation makes the sound more material, to be decorative and authentic. There is depth and materiality of sound production in film space. While dematerialisation is an image without sound to make it less authentic. In some cases, there may be no sound effects at all, where it could be a lower quality recording which sounds are muffled or smeared. This can result in an ethereal, abstract or dreamlike scene.

The Green Line 

We watched this abstract video art of a green line that can be shown two ways, either disturbing or pleasing. Without sound, it can be irritating as it does not have any rhythm, visually is not pleasing, it does not tell any story, just bright lights that are in seizure. However, it can look decorative.

On the other hand, with sound it can be more meaningful. It gradually step by step become loud. It started with rhythm that sets up anticipation. With sound, it has more language, there is material and depth. The choices of sounds sounded sci-fi, with the high-pitched sounds. It creates more materialisation with the sound, focus and purpose. The beats in the music matches the mood of the scene. China elaborates that materialisation in sound makes it more material to be more authentic, make it decorative and make it more meaningful. While dematerialisation is an image without sound to make it less authentic or dreamlike.

Dead Set – Zombies Agents and Sound Design 

We watched a short film called the dead set of zombie set ups where the short film uses materialisation and dematerialisation. For example, when there are scenes where the zombies are screaming, there are no foley sounds instead it uses music at the background, it uses dematerialisation makes the image more raw, more whimsical and can be good when it is when slow motion. This describes the juxtaposition and contrary with the happy background sound with the zombie screaming sound effects. This short film also describes the understanding of both empathetic and unempathetic sound. While the zombies are screaming; instead of using haunted and scary sounds, it uses upbeat songs. This shows where the soundtrack doesn’t seemed to match the mood of the scene, doesn’t match the whole story of the short film. It doesn’t care what is going on creating a dark yet humorous feel. Through misattribution, the audience will either share in Brooke’s glee in zombie carnage. The unempathetic sound is what makes the short film look more creepy rather than scary – the upbeat songs created a chaos feel.

Also, it uses structure meaning that this creates a flow from one scene to another scene. One example is the violence that comes from the zombies by using foley sounds, this materialised the concept of the short film, When the door opens, the beat of the sound dropped – meaning that loud sound is existent at the exact time when the door opens, where the chorus kicks in. When one of the characters were eaten by the zombies, and lay against the wall – the music at the background becomes a blunt definition, making it umempathetic sound. It supposes to be screaming of the people but it uses soft music at the background. There is high MSI appearing in this short film. Overall, we learnt the idea of balance between sound design and soundtrack where this creates materialisation, emotion and attention which tracks the sound’s perceptual effects in the short film.

Terminator 3

We watched the car racing scenes where it uses more sound effects rather than score. It emphasises on having as much foley sounds of explosions, gun sounds, car dragging sounds and all that. Their idea of dramatic is to put as much foley sounds as possible, the more, the merrier. The explosions need to be really loud so it can match the physical sense of a big explosion scene. If there are no sounds, there will be no purpose of being dramatic. If we put score, it doesn’t match the idea of chaotic, it can feel dramatic but does not feel chaotic. In this sense, their goal is chaotic. If we want it to be brutal, no score orchestral music, it does not need any music. It needs many foley sounds.

James Bond – Quantum of Solace

We looked at the beginning sequence of James Bond Quantum of Solace where it uses score as the background music – we can even see the score as they showcase and James Bond took action in a theatre where it involves orchestra. The score starts out with a slow ballad and when the action becomes hectic, the score gradually becomes dramatic. They took on an a mastic risks where it uses incremental and piecemeal extension of the idea to be huge and dramatic. The use of score is an opportunity to explore more stylised /theatrical and surreal frames for actin sequences. They have materialised the orchestral sound in order to give that dramatic feel for James Bond as well as for the audience. Orchestral sounds with heavy symbol sounds. For example, they put emphasis, they put diegetic sounds on orchestral sounds. There is actions where there are gun shooting, however they did not put any foley sounds of guns. The score is diegetic while the gun sounds is non-diegetic.

Guardians of the Galaxy 

It started out with a slow ballad of score at the background. Once Peter Quill becomes powerful in a way, as he gain power, then it gradually his friends join in one by point, the score in the background becomes dramatic – showing the idea of them being powerful and become bigger and larger in energy. And the score started with a loud and dramatic thum once Peter Quill touched the thing – it dramatically added the score. Although there are screams, the score is louder and more diegetic than the foley sounds. They want to emphasise that even foley sounds cannot be heard – so they added in the score to be dramatic. It has hums and symbols at the score. From “Creating the sound design step by step”, it stated the idea of physical and dramatic transition, “the flow of drama leads us to turning points in the story that evoke shifts in physical space, intent, emotion and in general a new direction for the characters and plot. The most obvious shifts of physical space occur at the change from one scene location to another. Certainly this is motivation to change the ambient sounds to help orient the audience to the new space, but rarely is this change a dramatic turning point in itself.” They needed to use score because there is more action involve rather than dialogue, so with the score creating it more dramatic and creates a suture to flow one scene to another. If there is no score, the movie will probably be not be good at all and it will not show any emotions.

Finnick and Annie’s Wedding Scene – The Hunger Games

Although this scene is short, the score of the music gives such a happy and joyful feeling although the whole movie is depressing. The score in this scene clearly shows a country music with a high pitched banjo and violins. The clapping hands also gives the anthem of a country and folk music. The country music has demonstrates a happy illustration of both Finnick and Annie. It helps to match the happy mood for these characters although they are depressed. For a little while, there is still happiness shown. The way the characters smile with the song at the background creates a synchronisation, meaning that the score is diegetic, as well as giving an empathetic feeling. You can see it from the smiles and dancing that these characters have – they are dancing to the tune of the country music playing. The score is diegetic as the characters dances and claps along. In addition, there is a violin image showing it is diegetic. Overall, the idea of using country music is giving a happy tune. And most country music matched with people who doesn’t dress well or are even poor. Here the characters’ outfits matched the whole idea of unprivileged people. With country music, the idea of just having a violin and people, it will change up the mood. The use of score helps to spice up the mood of the scene to be happy and joyful at some point.

References: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQcFJ2KYjmU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsxIXyyENhs

https://www.scribd.com/document/32903497/Sound-Design-sample-PDF

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