Discuss the different sound features used in film to enhance continuity and narrative Essay Example
Discuss the different sound features used in film to enhance continuity and narrative Essay Example

Discuss the different sound features used in film to enhance continuity and narrative Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1016 words)
  • Published: August 13, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Sound can be split into two main categories diegetic and non - diegetic. Diegetic sound is sound that is part of what is on screen this includes dialogue and sound effects that are created by a foley artist.

All films will contain this type of sound, in the poker scene of James Bond 'Casino royal' (2006) a realistic environment has been created. This has been done by recording sounds separately; in the scene extras were asked to keep noise to a minimum. Sounds like talking and shoes clicking on the floor were added later either using library sounds or created by a foley artist. This is done because when the sound is being recorded originally all of the actor dialogue must be heard and understood no other sounds should get in the way distracting from the action.



on-diegetic sound is sound that is not on the screen this includes voiceoversand background music. One movie which uses both of these is 'Trainspotting' (1994). In the scene where Renton is trying to give up heroin. The music in this scene is contrapuntal as it is classical the last type of music people would expect to be in the background to this scene. This is also true for the voice over Renton uses a large vocabulary and the only slang that is heard is the word 'junk' for heroin.

In the extract he speaks as if he is reading from a list and his language sounds educated and formal not expected from a drug addict.The opposite to contrapuntal sound is parallel sound meaning that the soundmatches the action on screen. For example in 'Casino Royal' (2006) African drum beats

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are used during the chase sequences in Africa. Helping to give the audience a firm and clear idea where the action is.

Other ways the music matches the images on screen in a parallel way is during action sequences where the music is fast passed giving the audience a sense of adventure and that they are included in the action. Also in the more romantic scenes where the music helps the audience feel they know the characters and there relationship.Non-diegetic music is very important in films, for example in 'Casino Royal'(2006) the James Bond theme is not played in full until the end of the film this was done because the film is the first in the Bond series so the character is still being developed. The theme is played in part during the middle of the film this gives the audience a taster of what is to come.

The Bond theme is a safety net there to remind the audience that it is the same character no matter who plays him. The music that is created must fit the movie if it doesn't match then the movie would be hard to follow and the audience may be unsure of what exactly is happening. If the music in a scene is subtle like in the poker scene of 'Casino Royal' it creates tension this is done well. In this scene very little is said but the music and sound effects help create the mood for example the clicking of the chips shows that a character is nervous, this is added later in post production. This sounds helps the audience notice this nervous tick and understand

what is happening in the scene even if they don't understand the game of poker.

Off screen sound is diegetic sound that is used to move narrative along. This isused in 'Mary Shelly's Frankenstein' (1994) when the sound of the monster groaning tells the audience that something is coming. Moving the story along. Another technique which helps the film move along fluidly are sound bridges where the sound from one scene continues even though the images have moved onto the next scene. This is used in 'Once Upon a Time in the West' (1968) when the sound of a fly buzzing in a gun barrel is continued as a train arriving at a station this moves the action along to the next scene without the audience feeling the movie has jumped.

Sound effects can be recorded on set or added in later for example a car crashwhich is not seen on screen needs to be created. This gives the audience the sense of realism when watching the film. Ambient sound helps create an atmosphere or sense of place for example in 'Mary Shelly's Frankenstein' the atmosphere is tense and cold and the music helps reflect that. The sound track is created by use of string instruments and high pitched flutes. This helps the audience to feel the mood of the scene and understand the characters emotions. Selective sound is used to emphasise key sound elements within a sequence for example in 'One Upon a Time in the West' the sound of the water dripping and the fly buzzing are raised above other sounds to show he audience that very little is happening passing the characters sense of

waiting and boredom onto the audience.

Silence can also be used as a sound technique. If it is quiet before a loudexplosion the audience are more likely to jump reacting in the way wanted by the film makers. Silence was used this way by the makers of 'Casino Royal' (2006). Silence can also be used to emphasise other sound elements in 'Once Upon a Time in the West' (1968) the sound is kept to a minimum during the scene on the railway station to emphasise the sound of the fly.

This draws the audience into the scene and creates humour by emphasising the buzzing.In conclusion the sound in films makes up 50% of what the audienceexperiences. The sound adds to the experience of the film for the audience. It helps move the film along and helps the audience understand the narrative. Sound can create any feeing in the audience by clever use of music and sound in general. For example a slow melancholy tune can be played along images of someone crying and tearing up photos giving the audience a pretty clear sense of what is happening in the scene.

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