Post-Production : The art of sound and music by Peter Butler

Peter Butler

The art of sound and music

Hey everyone. I thought some of you may be interested in a blog I've written on sound and music. The blog is called 22 days later in which we make films within 22 days. I try to post up topics on things I've learned through this process and this week I decided to do a blog on sound and SFX. This is from an indie film perspective so if you work as a professional Sound engineer or composer it's unlikely that you'll find anything useful here, however maybe you could add some advice, I always love hearing from the pros.

Peter Butler

Hi Alle, Thank you for your great input. Yes you're right I should of added that the use of no sound at all can also be an excellent tool although of course this only works if it's in contrast to a lot of sounds before hand. I wasn't saying that sound should always be used to show what an actor is thinking or feeling simply that it's an excellent way of punctuating those moments if you feel the need to. And yes your story should still be readable without sound, obviously if you watch a movie and can't work out what's going without the sound then you have an issue. My point is really how much sound and music adds to the film. But as you mentioned, if over done this can also be detrimental. The example I gave with the cards was to illustrate how good things can happen in post. Yes in an ideal world we as film makers would of made the perfect film on set, but this never happens. A lot of the time it's in post that new ideas form. These films are quick turn around film with amateur actors. We literally have a week to write the script, a week to get the actors and shoot and a week in preproduction. The particular scene I'm referring to had a boy in that was a friend of my mothers. I had an idea for how to build the tension but unfortunately we just couldn't get him to perform on set. In the edit it became clear that using the sound of the cards really helped to emphasis this. There are things that you can pre-plan but no matter how much planning you do it sometimes doesn't work out how you want it to. It's only once you sit down with all your pieces that you can really let the ideas flow. But yes this particular idea did end up being a bit like trying to fit a round circle into a square hole and could definitely of been better if we'd had more time to plan. I did another post a few month ago and covered a few of the parts you've discussed on foley but it's super useful to hear your expert opinion and really helps for future shoots. Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog and your fantastic input! Peter

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