Join Eduardo Angel for an in-depth discussion in this video Sound and music, part of Video for Photographers 01: Filmmaking Essentials.
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- We already talked about why sound is so important. And when I say sound I refer to dialogue, music, and also sound effects. And I don't know mean Hollywood budget effects. It could be soundscapes, which I really like to record when I'm on location. It could be the sound of the wind, or a crowd clapping and screaming and singing, or cars passing by, or anything else that will help you to enhance your story.
Now I have two challenges for you. Challenge number one. Please go and watch five or ten minutes of a movie that you have never seen before, but mute it. Try to imagine what the dialogues are like, what the music is, what's happening. Are they arguing? Are they talking? Is there any music behind? Are there any special effects? What is happening? And then just go back and play it. Does it match what you imagined? Challenge number two.
As you're washing the dishes or doing laundry or something else, try to listen for again, five or ten minutes of a movie that you have never seen before. And try to imagine who are these people? How do they look like? What are they wearing? When is this happening? What time of day? Is it in the morning? Is it at night? Are they tall? Are they short? Are they inside or outside? How does the place look like? Then go back and watch it. Does it match? Surprisingly the movies that we consider good movies are the ones that match the sound and the visuals.
Let's take a look at this example. Where this short piece has music that doesn't match at all. (dramatic orchestral music) And now let's watch it again with more appropriate music. (upbeat frolicking music) Amazing, right? Well that's what sound does to our movies.
Here's something that is completely new for us as photographers. Room tone. Every space has a very unique sound, depending on the height of the ceilings, or how many windows we have, the amount of furniture, if we have a carpet, and even how many people are in the room. That will all affect the way the sound is distributed within the space. So especially if you're shooting interviews, make sure that you record a minute or so of room tone where no one is moving, no one is talking, and you simply record that sound.
It will be extremely helpful later on if you have to re-record some dialogues scenes or do voiceovers, and then you will fill the gap, you will fill those dialogues with the background noise or the room tone. You wouldn't like to see your picture in a huge billboard and don't get credit or don't get paid for it, right? Well the same happens with music. So just because you purchase that .mp3 or CD doesn't mean that you can use it for your video projects. There are many websites that offer all kinds of licensing ways and methods and systems, from the free to Creative Commons to scoring original music from scratch.
In video, good music is like lighting in photography. When it's done well you don't notice that it's there.
In this course, Emmy-winning filmmaker Eduardo Angel helps bridge the gap between photography and film—between still pictures and moving images—by showing what it takes to transition to video. The course covers the most essential video production techniques, from framing and lighting for continuous shots to directing the viewer's attention and incorporating camera movement and sound—Eduardo even provides a brief overview of his post-production workflow. By following along with Eduardo and his team, you'll understand why these concepts are so important and start applying them to your video and hybrid projects right away.
Look for the follow-up course, Video for Photographers 02: Filmmaking On Location, where Eduardo shows how these lessons apply to a real-world shoot. Coming soon to the lynda.com library!
- Understanding the 5 Cs of cinematography
- Choosing the right camera
- Framing for continuous shots
- Lighting techniques
- Using camera movement to enhance your story
- Leading the senses with sound
- Working with different microphones
- Editing and post-production considerations