Thursday, July 07, 2011

Recording Sound For Films

When you're out in the world, you never hear all the sounds available to your ears at once. You have to take a moment to think about all the sounds present at any given time. If you're in a cafe, there's people talking, music playing, dishes moving, the city street outside, the weather moving, the air conditioner, the thoughts in your head. You only experience each sound as you become aware and then you truly start to listen to each element of your sonic landscape. Your mind is selective in its awareness of what you hear - you don't hear all of those things at once - and you are even able to hold a conversation.

People wonder what sound people do on film sets. When undesired sounds arrive on set, they often say "oh, that noisy background sound ... well that might be there anyway, right?"

Maybe, but it still ain't right.

What sounds fine to your thinking active mind listening to a real experience is different from the experience of watching and hearing a film.
That's why the sound person has to select what you hear and adjust it - so it sounds like it's supposed to - to reflect the intention of a moment.

When you record something, you may pick up all audible things, recorded at a level that's not like the brain's natural perception. Surely little machines and microphones are not the same as brains and ears.

Not only do you want to record sound in a way that reflects a films' intention and feeling, you also want to isolate sounds as much as possible - so you can be a real director in the cutting room, and control all of your film's parts.

That's what being a sound person on a movie is all about. Tweaking and adjusting microphones and dials so that you can get the closest sound to your desired film experience. Which is sometimes impossible. Because locations and real life be crazy. And sound is not a priority on sets. And people like to do the ADR dubbing.

So in conclusion, pay me money.

- Heather

Writer/Director/Comedian/Sound Recordist

If you did not appreciate this blog entry, might I offer you a lil P-Nut?

Or perhaps a meat nutritional comparison chart?

Or a link to the kickstarter for the White Party fundraiser? (I'm in this video at :40)

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