Sonic Foundations: Sound Designing and Composing the Film

"If you went to strip joint on an alien planet then this is what they would be playing," says Josh my composer. We were both very taken and influenced by the Under the Skin soundtrack.

Great session today with Josh Sabin (composer) and Chris Gayne (sound designer). We held the session in the editing suite with Chris remotely skipped in from Glasgow. To be honest I just love sound design so it was a very exciting to sit down and listen to sample sounds and strategies that my the boys cooked up. Also, it was great that we will on the same page as I have been meeting with Josh and Chris for a couple of months now. They were some of my first collaborators as I knew that my short film would hinge on sound.

We discussed a lot of the same strategies that I explored in an early essay I wrote on Sound Design of Valhalla w/ Douglas MacDougall. Here is a excerpt from my essay:

Douglas continues, “When I say start with wind, it's three weeks of gathering wind sounds, and exploring what wind does such as different pitches of wind. I looked at how I could move the wind in a way through the film. Obviously the film comes in different chapters so you had that to work with as well.”

Wind is also a huge element in my studio film, Konoyo. A portion of our story will be shot at Cramond Causeway so we want to use the wind to tell our story. Moreover, juxtaposing various intensities of wind elements with beautiful and harsh images and rough editing to create a textured atmosphere.

Douglas adds  “You don’t want to burden the film with direct (realistic) sound all the time, you want a sense of something, a feeling of something in the air. That was my biggest move forward on Valhalla in my thinking. This concept of a heavy atmosphere without it being musical was the beginning. That was the invention of the style of the film.”

Douglas’s perspective on sound made me question what does a tsunami sound like? Most of the world is familiar with the images and sounds of the waves of destruction on the news and Internet. The idea of draining everything away as if following the tide, pulling it back slowly. I think that is a much more interesting idea to tell the story for my studio film in terms of sound design then the rush forward of the sea. Building the sound design for the film within this seam or subtext will allow us to approach the tsunami in a unique way. A specific example of this could be subtlety using the soundscape that the animals produce throughout the film to foreshadow the impending doom.