Activity – sound

Film sound activities

Two guitarists

Complete the following sound activities.

  1. Make a list of all the obvious non-musical sounds in ‘The Interviewer’. Use a highlighter to show which sounds seem to be engineered rather than naturally captured by the camera equipment.
  2. Make a table to list all the instances of music in the film. Column headings might include:
    • timecode
    • classification (diegetic music, underscore music, soundscape, sound effect, other)
    • tempo
    • instrumentation
    • genre
    • register (high, medium, low pitch)
    • texture (thick, thin).
  3. Draw an intensity worm to graphically show when music and sounds are used in the short film. Show the emotional climax with a star. Annotate when 2 or more sounds happen simultaneously. For example, the trumpet plays a short phrase and sound effects are heard, while underscore piano music is playing. Refer to the example diagram below.

Sample sound worm for hypothetical film

Sound worm for a hypothetical film
  1. When is the emotional climax of the film and how is it supported by music?
  2. Note all the time stamps for when there is no music at all.
  3. Reflect on the purpose and impact of the music in ‘Inclusion Makes the World More Vibrant’ with reference to the following quote from Fiona Hill (2022). Consider where music could have a purpose and impact in your short film.

Music should always serve the narrative of the film. Usually, this conversation happens between the composer and the person making the film early on. So that is really the first question: what purpose is the music serving, what is it doing? How should it make us feel? Then with a short film (as well as feature) thinking about the overall arc and structure of the music is important. Is it wall to wall music? Are there specific shorter cues? Probably with a 3–5-minute film there would be music throughout, although not always – sometimes it can be more impactful to only use music at specific points you want to highlight.

– Fiona Hill, 2022