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    SOUND DESIGN LACKING in MONSTERFEST
    #1
    Retired Moderator J.R. Hudson's Avatar
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    We need to start having some lessons in Sound design I think.

    http://www.filmsound.org/

    As fun as some of these are; they are really lacking in this area. I find SOUND to be sooooo important in selling the world.

    Think about a scene taking place at an outdoor cafe and all of the sounds one may hear :

    The dialogue of course

    The sounds of glasses and silverware, ambient dialogue, cars driving by, horns, birds chirping, the wind or a breeze blowing, the hum of an air conditioner maybe ...

    Enhance all of that with foley for specific shots making the frame come alive

    Score

    Mixing ....

    Anyways

    Just a thought on how some of these could be much better


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    Senior Member AJ Brooks's Avatar
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    I agree 100%

    Most films (including my own) suffered from mediocre or poor sound design.

    The sound design area is an incredible way to make the world of your film more real and a lot more interesting. Definitely an area I want to improve on.


    AJ Brooks - Writer / Director


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    Senior Member Shawn Philip Nelson's Avatar
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    I thought Ryan Frias did a great job on mine, he built it up 100% in post (the on-set was fubar'd and he took ADR and went from there). We did several passes tweaking the background walla, adr reverb, fx foley and more. Though with so much music it's hard to tell, as we didnt get any quiet ambient moments.
    Formerly user 'shawneous'.

    "Every great idea is on the verge of being stupid."
    -Michel Gondry


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    Senior Member Brad S.'s Avatar
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    Great post, J.R. Filmsound.org is a really great site and I highly recommend people check it out and read some of the articles by highly respected people within the sound community. I especially recommend people check out Randy Thom's article Designing for Sound. In it he stresses that good sound starts with the script writing process.

    Sound is a major part of the telling a story that is rarely utilized for its full potential. So many people think that good sound starts during post with the "sound design." A lot of the better film makers here realize that they need to plan for sound during pre-production, making sure that they get good production audio, but the real art lies in planning for sound.

    Take my favorite sound moment in films, the landing on Omaha beach near the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. Sure it is an awesome sounding scene and sound designer Gary Rydstrom did an absolutely amazing job, but there are dozens of decisions made before the sound designers ever got to it.

    One really important part is that Spielberg and composer John Williams were brave enough to decide that they didn't want music during that scene. That's not to say that music is bad, but it let Rydstrom take full advantage of the entire frequency range without fighting the music. They made a decision and stuck with it.

    Even more important than that, Spielberg decided to shoot the scene at the same level as the soldiers, making as feel as if we are with them. That gave Rydstrom the freedom to do all of the cool bullet bys, guns and explosions to add to the chaos. But I think the most important piece of the puzzle probably came during the writing process. The piece is designed to from the perspective of Tom Hanks. We hear all of the sounds of war, putting us in the middle of it, plus we have the "shell shock" sequences with Tom Hanks, adding to the horror of war.

    Anyway, just something to think about. I'd love to read more about people's views of how sound can contribute!
    Brad Semenoff
    Sound Editor/Re-Recording Mixer
    SF Bay Area, CA

    My Website IMDB Credits


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    #5
    Senior Member Lawsuit_Boy's Avatar
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    My biggest concern regarding sound design in these fests is the lack of professional-grade equipment. This was my problem on Tiny Dancer (sound equipment we had was ATROCIOUS).

    Of course, it couldn't hurt to offer lessons and book references (seriously, so many great texts on production out there).


    *Saturday Audience Choice Award--Canton Palace Theatre International Film Festival


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    #6
    Senior Member Gohanto's Avatar
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    I'll also take this opportunity to point to Noiz's post "Key to making your film sound like it had a budget"

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=172106

    And the compilation post of a ton of post sound basics.

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=174562

    A great breakdown on things that are done EVEN WITH GOOD PRODUCTION tracks to make a movie sound great. And even with poor equipment, some basic post sound (along with wild takes and room tones) like dialog editing, backgrounds, and a few FX can usually at least get a movie to the point where the sound is no longer a distracting element.

    And I certainly agree with Brad's points about designing a movie for sound.

    You'll NEVER hear a sound designer complaint he/she was brought into a project too early. I (and I'm sure most designers) love reading scripts before they're shot and offering ideas that could help improve the effect sound will have on an audience.

    And there's a lot of guys on the boards, myself included, who are happy to help on projects.
    I invented the "remove echo" audio filter. And only people that boom their actors closely get to use it.

    Alex Donkle - Sound Designer -


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    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    Gohanto, thank you! I've been reading through that first link, and the thread is uber-helpful.


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    #8
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    Doing sound myself I "often" deal with directors who are kind of intrested in sound, but think that sound is "normal".

    Sound is something....very special... Viewers won't think 'hey... I hear city ambiences, but is it shot in a city ?" and "hey..... I hear the dog barking just when the bad guy is escaping..."

    That's also the raison I like to do soundediting / sounddesign.. there is no one who is thinking of you :-p But you know that you're deciding wether they like it...or less...

    Oh and mostly sounddesigners aren't realy credited (name on posters)... It's always a big big big blabla about directors, DOP, even the hairdresser... but sound... Sound is something very unknown (by some).
    SOUND EDITING - SOUND DESIGN - AND ALSO SOUNDRECORDING

    philipsfilmsound.com


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    #9
    Member Humanwire's Avatar
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    The sound on Sinnergy was horrible......


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    #10
    Retired Moderator J.R. Hudson's Avatar
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    I am stoked everyone seems hyper-aware of this element.

    I always say that actors and sound are what sells your flick. Everything else is forgivable.


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