Inspiration and Research


What made me research this subject was the non-narrative documentary film “Samsara” directed by Ron Fricke. Music by Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard and Macello De Francisci. It took nearly five years to shoot this movie in twenty-five countries. Samsara presents extremely different environments by showing the ever turning wheel of life combined with emotive music. In this film music was not written to the image, music was created before and than placed with the image. That’s what the producer wanted, to have music with a life of its own, to see the value of the music created before the image. “Half of this type of filmmaking is the music. It’s 50/50. The music embellishes the experience with feeling— it’s the dialogue, but it’s in a feeling form.” – Ron Fricke. So this movie is kind of a piece of music you can listen with the images interpreting it.


Samsara made me research more about how an image can be achieved through the sound and what kind of sounds give different meanings to an image. In the future I would like to be sound designer for the visual media and knowing how sound can be dictated to the image would make this job much easier and interested. So I started looking more, if theres engineers who are doing it similar way and what kind of opinion do they have. And this next short video with sound designer Coll Anderson talking about documentary sound design, is what I was looking for. He talks about his different approach of working on sound design. Not like other great sound producers and designers just creating sound design which highlights the image, Anderson tries to expand the reality as creatively as he can to improve connection with the story and let the viewers understand the meaning of the image through the sound. He talks about a few techniques on how to tell the story to viewers with single sounds and how they can bring deeper meaning and the theme to an image.


Obviously sound design is all about creating sound who are not in the picture or replacing them with clearer sound. But is that not lying to the audience and fulling them around. Well in a way yes, but if that can bring better meaning and direct exactly what producer whats to say, than is better to the story.  “Is the sound design true to the documentary — one can argue not. Is it true to the spirit of the story — absolutely.” – sound designer Coll Anderson.

Randy Thom talks more about sound design impact in the films in article from 1999. He is a sound designer and director of sound design at Skywalker Sound. After reading it I understood that sound design started almost two decades ago and that the film industry was changed just because of sound design. People started to understand that to expand the imaginative world an image is not enough. Engineers who didn’t want to replicate what’s in the movie, started experimenting with sound and realised that sound can generate the meaning. Invented or real world in image with complex layers was not letting viewer to image or except as true world. But the sound in image with wide variety of elements started give movie a story and understanding about characters. Telling the story became nothing like telling any kind of story between characters, places and objects.Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 18.03.13 – Designing A Movie For Sound © Randy Thom 1999


Reading more Randy Thom article where he talks about different techniques on how to approach sound for image. To achieve best sound and open up my imagination for my project I need to know how to do this, I needed more researched on some basic techniques for the sound design. And I found a great article on SoundOnSound by Nick Metcalf.  Metcalf says great features for how to succeed on good sounding samples. Theres great professional tip on how to achieve good contrasting between layered sound. He talks about silence as well as its creative use and it can help us accentuate drama in projects by providing a space in which the usual music and sound effects are removed. Nick Metcalfe talks and directs to editing skills and and different techniques and says that clear and organised editing makes work mach easier. This article has given me perfect understanding on how the sounds that we hear in films are taken seriously by sound designers to achieve the best meaning in an image. I will experiment with these techniques for my project to understand them better.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 21.07.19

Sound Design For Visual Media & Radio – Nick Metcalfe

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