Course: Multimedia Programming 100 – Introduction to Multimedia

Homework 3.A

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • Author
    • #457

      Sam Collins

      The most interesting fact about the soundscaping in the film Gravity is the approach of using a visual (or having the audience see ‘contact’ or sound through touch; “hearing things from the inside”) in order to dictate what it would sound like in space.

      As this article states, sound is not transmitted in space so the visuals and the music had to make up for what would be missing sonically. Sound designer Glenn Freemantle explains, “every time something’s banging against something, and she’s (Sandra Bullock’s character) not touching what it’s banging against, you don’t hear it.” So in hindsight, Freemantle is teaching the ear to hear with the eyes.

      We usually don’t rely on seeing something before we hear it (think car alarm or radio) so it is understandable why this approach for sound in this film is “thinking out of the box.” Actually, Freemantle and Re-Recording Mixer, Skip Lievsay were thinking completely out of this world!

      Another fascinating thing was listening to Lievsay talk about the foley in the accompanied video explaining how they did “transducer recordings,” of different sounds.  So, even some of the foley was recorded like a vibration as well.

      Unfortunately, I am too much of a neophyte to state which other movie could have approached their sound in such a unique manner. However, I do take away from this – that sound design is not only a rather large component in movies but also probably the most overlooked since we usually go to see movies and not hear them.

    • #458

      Portia Anderson

      What did you find most interesting about the process involved in creating sounds for a film set in space?

      I found it interesting that they recorded vibrations rather then sound to mimic sound in space. I really appreciated that they tried to stay as close to realism when it comes to sound in space especially for a person in a heavy astronaut suit. The amount of research that probably had to be done about space travel and most likely the amount of experts they probably spoke to like NASA or actual astronauts. This movie is fictional but still relates to the real life sciences and all the reactions our bodies would go through in space. It was very interesting to know that most of the movies dialogue was prerecorded and  ADR. When trying to have the emotions of the actor match the dialogue they edited the futz( thanx google) so the audience could feel the emotion. Understanding  the lengths they went to to make sure the audience could experience what the actors was experiencing, I really could appreciate that.  It made me feel immersed in the sound and I loved the realism of everything. I liked that when a person went from right to left that the voices followed. I liked feeling disorientated with the actor because that’s what movies are about. Its a fantasy and escape and I liked being apart of that. Instead of watching people have fun I was apart of it. I thought movie theaters was a dying breed but this experiences is definitely something you cant get in your home streaming. The idea of the movie theaters being space itself and catering to movies with accuracy to sound is amazing.  Even the music wasn’t cheesy and dramatic but emotional and suspenseful.

      Can you think of any other instances in film, television, radio, or gaming where a sound engineer(s) required outside the box thinking to create an engaging atmosphere?

      The guitars underwater I thought was very random and very out of the box. I recently discovered that in the Exorcist, the sound effect from the famous head spinning scene was of a wallet.

    • #464

      Dardan Elbasani

      I certainly enjoy film as an art form more than entertainment, which is why I don’t usually go to the movies. In fact, ever since moving to the U.S in late 2017, I haven’t been stepped in a movie theatre as of yet here (saving that for The Lion King remake, which I’ll obviously be disappointed by — but nostalgia…) Haven’t watched Gravity – there was certainly a lot of hype from critics left and right back when it came out, but I always saw it as something that would be forgotten soon enough; usually films dubbed as “an experience” tend to be boring and excruciatingly long, and meaningless, but that’s a topic for another day. The whole “experience” selling point of Gravity was obvious from the first trailer, which simply featured Sandra Bullock in space – and then things going wrong quickly.

      The article proves this even further with the soundtrack of the movie. It’s mentioned many times in the article that there’s no sound in space – but you can’t have a movie without sound. In film visuals and sound go hand in hand; both should always be of equal importance and the director of Gravity obviously knew this and took both aspects seriously. The experimentation part I would say is most interesting – guitars in water, lots of object rubbing, and, well, silence. The NASA people were nice enough to offer a few hours of consultation to help them further with the sound design as well. For an even more immersive experience, the article also describes the film incorporating something that people have started calling “8D audio” where you can “feel” the sound in every corner of your brain for the extra immersive-ness points. It is indeed something else when done well (look up music of your favorite artists followed by “…8D” and thank me later).

      I also checked out a few tracks on the Gravity OST and it’s honestly not the “orchestra” described in the article. It sounds like average blockbuster trailer music with a few silent parts here and there. Some soundtracks work better in the movies they’re in (ambient especially) instead of listening standalone, and this is probably one of those films. Definitely should fit with the tone of the film, but from what I listened to no tune stood out to me, which is kind of disappointing.

      Sound that required out of the box thinking… As a foley artist, this is literally your job. Any item or combo of items can create interesting results. I’ve always found it interesting how The Lion King never used actual lion roars, but tigers’ instead, since the latter sounded more majestic. More creativity was put into Mufasa’s roar than the others, where they combined tiger roar with some guy yelling in a trash can.

      Another more recent one – in Game of Thrones, Daenerys’ dragon Drogon purrs from time to time, and this very purr is just sex noises of giant tortoises.

    • #508

      Sam Collins

      I will never be able to watch Drogon again! Thanks Dardan!

Viewing 3 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.