sounds in Film
In The Right Stuff, when the X-1 accelerates, one of the main sounds you hear is a piece of chalk being scraped across a "blackboard."
In Mars Attacks the sounds of space ships flying-by were mostly created by bowing pieces of metal.
In Cast Away the sounds of palm trees creaking in the wind were mostly footsteps on creaky wooden stairs, and twisting a wicker cat carrier.
Raindrops on Gatekeepers lantern: Fingernails tapping an empty root beer can.
The Island of Dr. Moreau: Flare gun flare shot/flying - Car by on wet pavement.
Anthony Airon Oetzmann:
I think Treg Brown once said that he NEVER used an appropriate sound if he could manage it, and the older WB Cartoons truly were legend for that sensibility
What I first meant with "non- literal" sounds was sounds that are drastically different, almost contrapuntal, to what the audience would expect to hear.. sort of like an artistic effect. (I'm not saying that Foley people aren't artistic. They are extremely creative.) I know that a movie like Amélie has a few examples such as these. I hope I can find that at the video store though.
I've written down Godfather and Full Metal Jacket. I know that the WB cartoons are good examples, but I'm trying to exclude animations since the audience wouldn't expect to hear a "literal" sounds with WB cartoons. I also remember one scene in "Shine" when the guy is playing the piano but we can't hear the sounds of the piano. I suppose the lack of sound could be considered a "non-literal" effect as well. I'm going to think up some more examples. Thanks everyone!
In any case, I guess I was wrong. Unless any of the '70s film sound experts out there know about remix history on that film.
In any case, I _thought_ it was a great character POV sound - it really (would have) added to the sense of anxiety, and specifically the feeling of an external force insisting to the character that there was something to do.
I'm sure that if you did a poll of non-sound people who had just watched the movie, very few of them would be able to tell you that they heard horse vocalizations during the fights.
I would be amazed and surprised if Frank's intention was to subvert the expectations of the audience. He was just trying to make it as powerful and emotional a scene as possible, and that's what he did.
Call me a stodgy old geezer, but this recent trend toward tracks that seem to be saying "listen to me and hear how cute and clever I am" is not necessarily a good thing for the movies or for sound work itself.
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March 2002 "Non-literal sounds in Film!" at discussion list sound_design · an open forum about Sound design tips, techniques, theories and solutions for both Film and Interactive Media
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