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great movie sounds

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  • James Bisset
    Hi Randy... as a photographer who has always lamented the lack of audio for still images, the movies provide me with the best of both... as an audio engineer
    Message 1 of 32 , Oct 11, 2001
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      Hi Randy...
      as a photographer who has always lamented the lack of
      audio for still images, the movies provide me with the
      best of both...
      as an audio engineer moving images with sound really
      do capture it all and suggest new experiences
      dimensions of reality and or fantasy......

      our minds are huge repositaries of sound and images
      and smells.......whilst i realise it is dangerous to
      talk about synaesthesia, the hieghtened awareness of
      sound and visual context is so powerfull....
      often emoting smells and feelings of place and time

      It is difficult to say what works...any emotional
      response given or implied will always be subjective
      but it is often readily recognised what doesn't
      work...it is clearly wrong.........often we arrive at
      that decision using nothing more than "gut instinct"

      the scene you refer to is spectacularly subtle and yet
      obvious at the same time..... hank goodness for video
      that allows us to listen to a movie over again....and
      reveal deeper significance to the action on screen.

      the most impressive soundtrack i have heard is for
      Saving Private Ryan, this s not to say it is the best
      or that there are not more succinct examples
      elsewhere.... but it really did add a huge dimension
      to the action......

      just a wee note on finding appropriate sounds.....
      if you have time to create sounds for no other reason
      than creating them, then there is no waste of
      time........
      however if you approach specific projects from the
      wrong side...huge amounts of time and frustration can
      ensue........i am reminded of my early experiences of
      having acces to samplers........the new technology
      allowed us to create new sounds from scratch, spending
      hours on editing crude envelopes and splice
      un-matchable edit points only to insert the sound in
      the song that was to be recorded and finding that
      fantastic as it was as a sound.... we had lost the
      contex of the sound within "the bigger picture".....
      hours wasted.....good lesson...if you can move on
      from there.....but so many musicians get caught up in
      the process of creating the sounds b4 the song.....

      having said that....it is magical when a sound
      "appears" that sparks a chain of creativity.....

      i once travelled 500 miles to visit a place i'd only
      imagined after hearing a Brian Eno soundscape, the
      images i had imagined turned out to be so realistic,
      (landscape architecture beauty and at the same time a
      deep menace,)that when i told my story for being there
      to the locals in the pub, they thought i was either a
      poet in a prevoius life, psychic or having them
      on........
      the track was called Dunwich Beach 1960,
      turns out that Dunwich was once the busiest shipping
      port after London but for centuries has been reclaimed
      by the sea....so that when i was there at the
      sandstone cliff edge the last remaing graves of the
      edge of the town were about to be claimed by the sea
      bones exposed and all.......it was a truly magical
      experience not to say actually just a little scary
      that i could imagine so much from a piece of music
      with no other material knowledge of the place.....
      Vivid would be a good word to describe it......

      never underestimate the power of sound to emote,
      isolate it in the way a good camera angle or lighting
      effect can and the magic of the movies is taken to new
      heights....

      regards
      James













      =====
      Sending from 56 North 3minutes West.


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    • Gustavo Costantini
      Dear friends: I want to add some considerations on the Sound Design for Saving Private Ryan -or the way the film was designed for sound (I agree with you,
      Message 32 of 32 , Oct 12, 2001
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        Dear friends:

        I want to add some considerations on the Sound Design for Saving Private
        Ryan -or the way the film was designed for sound (I agree with you, Randy).
        First, the subjective sound of Tom Hanks during the Omaha beach sequence: a
        bomb shocks him and we now listen through his point of hearing; this
        procedure lets Spielberg to take some distance from the horror and the
        obscenity of war: that's the point in which he shows us the poor soldier
        seeking for his lost arm, the silent shout of the dying man asking for his
        mother, the body parts spread all over the place... Second, the excelent
        idea of representing the voices of the official letters: lots of women are
        writing down the letters supposedly written by the General or Colonel (or
        whatever) who sign them. While we see the faces of the women (vey beautiful
        close-ups from the point of view of the type-writers, we listen crossfaded
        voices of imaginary officers -the voices that are probably imagined by the
        parents or wives of the dead men.
        Maybe we could point out some exaggeration of the differences between the
        sound above and under water (while the soldiers are trying to leave the
        ships), but again, the sense of pressure, condensed pain, that this effect
        brings to us is overwhelming.
        I think this film will be a point of reference in sound design. The
        temptation of putting too many sounds and fx of these kind of films could be
        devastating. Instead, the sound team made what was needed to produce a sense
        of hyper-reality of the war (like CNN in D-day) and, at the same time, a
        sort of intimacy and even tenderness of some quiet and introspective moments
        (I remember now the chats in the abandoned church, the prayers of the
        soldier before doing his shots, the mentioned subjectives sounds, the return
        of the General Marshall's voice as voice-over in the last sequence).

        Kind regards for all,

        Gustavo

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <RandyThom@...>
        To: <sound-article-list@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, October 12, 2001 1:03 AM
        Subject: [sound-article-list] Re: great movie sounds


        > I certainly agree about Saving Private Ryan. Gary Rydstrom,
        > Richard Hymns and their team did a wonderful job on that film.
        > Rydstrom is a brilliant sound designer. He was once my
        > assistant. The fact that he now has way more Oscars than I do
        > hardly ever keeps me awake all night anymore.
        >
        > Don't forget, though, that great sound design is not simply about
        > recording and fabricating wonderful sounds. Saving Private
        > Ryan is a tour de force for sound because it is a film DESIGNED
        > FOR SOUND!
        >
        > 1) The story is told from the POINT OF VIEW of an individual.
        > 2) The visual approach totally supports the feeling of POV.
        > 3) The Director didn't ask the Sound Designer and the
        > Composer to compete with each other for aural attention.
        > 4) There are long periods with no conventional dialog.
        >
        > Those are the four basic characteristics of films with an open
        > door to creative and compelling use of sound.
        >
        > RT
        >
        > --- In sound-article-list@y..., "James Bisset" <jamesb1t@y...>
        > wrote:
        > > Hi Randy...
        > > as a photographer who has always lamented the lack of
        > > audio for still images, the movies provide me with the
        > > best of both...
        > > as an audio engineer moving images with sound really
        > > do capture it all and suggest new experiences
        > > dimensions of reality and or fantasy......
        > >
        > > our minds are huge repositaries of sound and images
        > > and smells.......whilst i realise it is dangerous to
        > > talk about synaesthesia, the hieghtened awareness of
        > > sound and visual context is so powerfull....
        > > often emoting smells and feelings of place and time
        > >
        > > It is difficult to say what works...any emotional
        > > response given or implied will always be subjective
        > > but it is often readily recognised what doesn't
        > > work...it is clearly wrong.........often we arrive at
        > > that decision using nothing more than "gut instinct"
        > >
        > > the scene you refer to is spectacularly subtle and yet
        > > obvious at the same time..... hank goodness for video
        > > that allows us to listen to a movie over again....and
        > > reveal deeper significance to the action on screen.
        > >
        > > the most impressive soundtrack i have heard is for
        > > Saving Private Ryan, this s not to say it is the best
        > > or that there are not more succinct examples
        > > elsewhere.... but it really did add a huge dimension
        > > to the action......
        > >
        > > just a wee note on finding appropriate sounds.....
        > > if you have time to create sounds for no other reason
        > > than creating them, then there is no waste of
        > > time........
        > > however if you approach specific projects from the
        > > wrong side...huge amounts of time and frustration can
        > > ensue........i am reminded of my early experiences of
        > > having acces to samplers........the new technology
        > > allowed us to create new sounds from scratch, spending
        > > hours on editing crude envelopes and splice
        > > un-matchable edit points only to insert the sound in
        > > the song that was to be recorded and finding that
        > > fantastic as it was as a sound.... we had lost the
        > > contex of the sound within "the bigger picture".....
        > > hours wasted.....good lesson...if you can move on
        > > from there.....but so many musicians get caught up in
        > > the process of creating the sounds b4 the song.....
        > >
        > > having said that....it is magical when a sound
        > > "appears" that sparks a chain of creativity.....
        > >
        > > i once travelled 500 miles to visit a place i'd only
        > > imagined after hearing a Brian Eno soundscape, the
        > > images i had imagined turned out to be so realistic,
        > > (landscape architecture beauty and at the same time a
        > > deep menace,)that when i told my story for being there
        > > to the locals in the pub, they thought i was either a
        > > poet in a prevoius life, psychic or having them
        > > on........
        > > the track was called Dunwich Beach 1960,
        > > turns out that Dunwich was once the busiest shipping
        > > port after London but for centuries has been reclaimed
        > > by the sea....so that when i was there at the
        > > sandstone cliff edge the last remaing graves of the
        > > edge of the town were about to be claimed by the sea
        > > bones exposed and all.......it was a truly magical
        > > experience not to say actually just a little scary
        > > that i could imagine so much from a piece of music
        > > with no other material knowledge of the place.....
        > > Vivid would be a good word to describe it......
        > >
        > > never underestimate the power of sound to emote,
        > > isolate it in the way a good camera angle or lighting
        > > effect can and the magic of the movies is taken to new
        > > heights....
        > >
        > > regards
        > > James
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > =====
        > > Sending from 56 North 3minutes West.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > __________________________________________________
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        > > Make a great connection at Yahoo! Personals.
        > > http://personals.yahoo.com
        >
        >
        >
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