Norman: Before we get into the details of using music and sound with our cuts, let's talk about a few words that you'll hear a lot. Each piece of film music, whether it's a long piece that goes over several scenes or a short whistle that a character does, it's called a Music Cue or simply a Cue. Two cues can be separated by silence or one can slowly merge into another; this merging is called a segue. Film music has two main characteristics; there is its quality and its placement. I talk about music's style and tone.
All of which is to talk about the type of music that we are using. Is it fast or slow? Its tempo. Is it soft or loud? Is it simple or complex? Is it sad, happy, or neutral? Yeah, music has adjectives just like our characters do. Now, when we talk about a music cue's placement we call that its spotting. The place where the music starts is often called the in point. And where it ends oddly enough, it's called the out point. Of course, the terms in and out points can also be used in picture editing as well as sound and music editing.
Now there are two types of music, one of which is music that comes from a source on or off the screen. This can be music coming from a radio or a band playing on stage. That type of music is called source music. Another type of music is music that is meant to underscore the emotions of a scene. And doesn't belong to something physical like source music does. This music is called score. Score is often written specifically for the movie by a composer.
However, sometimes we can't afford a composer and then we have to find existing music cues which we can spot into our film as best as we can. This process is called tracking. And if we're going to replace this music later, we'll call it temp music for obvious reasons. Now sound also has its own terminology. There are several types of sound beginning with Dialogue. This is actually any sound that you've recorded live on set with a mike, like this my Lave or a Boom like this one.
It may include people talking, but it also may be sounds of people walking or opening doors or turning on their cars. Sometimes you'll use these sounds in your final product, and sometimes you'll need to replace them. There are general background sounds like distant traffic. Kids playing. Wind blowing.SOUND}. Rain falling.SOUND}. These aren't tied to a very specific frame on screen but are background to entire scenes and are therefore referred to as backgrounds.
Right now, for instance, you can hear the construction in the studio next door until you can't. And by the way, that sound of my finger snapping was added by the editor afterwards. It sounded better I guess. Those type of sounds are called hard effects, sometimes abbreviated as SFX for sound effects. We will often add them into our edits if they help us to tell the story. Now hard effects can be Car engines starting.
This car revving. And taking off. And if we want to, the sound of it getting into a collision. Just over there. The advantage of adding these sounds later, is that we have ultimate control over it. So we can make that car crash happen closer to us if we wanted to. Sometimes it's easier to go into a studio or another room and record certain sounds directly to picture rather than try to find the best sound effect and editing it in.
Footsteps are like that. And when we record them, we call them Foley. It's amazing how you can create them in a studio. Dialog may also be recorded after we've shot, if we need to add lines that were never shot or we don't like the reading of a line that was shot. Sometimes a line of dialog will be obscured by an airplane or a car sound. So we will need to re-record it on a stage. This is called looping, or ADR. Which stands for automatic, or sometimes automated, dialog replacement.
Finally, silence is never really silent in films. There is nothing more disconcerting than having every sound drop out completely. And some projection technology doesn't take to that very well. So we never really go completely to silence. We put in something called room tone, which is the quiet tone of a room when no one is moving or talking. All of these sounds are edited onto tracks in your digital nonlinear editor.
The combination of all of these sounds dialogue, ADR, sound effects, backgrounds, foley, room tone, and music will sound quite confusing together if those tracks aren't properly balanced into one soundtrack. That balancing is called mixing, and it can get very detailed. We will be doing some lesser version of music and sound creation as we edit our film. Since we want them there. since most of us will help to tell the story. Now, I don't generally edit with dozens of tracks.
I usually edit with just the minimum that I need to tell my story the best. Dialogue, of course, temporary ADR. Temporary music and whatever backgrounds I need to smooth out the track and tell the story. And then I add whatever hard effects I need for the same reasons. Now that we've got most of the terms out of the way, in the next few movies, I'll start talking about how to use the music to shape the audience's involvement with the story.
Start with an overview of concepts like the rule of threes, review a sampling of footage from films past and present, and then dive into script analysis. Find out when and when not to make cuts, how to collaborate with clients and directors during recutting, and how to ground the emotional backdrop for your piece with music and sound. Norman closes with a look at adapting to different genres and filmic styles.
- Exploring the history of video editing
- Controlling what the audience sees
- Identifying the logline
- Performing script and scene analysis
- Coming up with an editing plan
- Cutting from on-camera to off-camera action
- Understanding the value of recutting
- Shaping moments with music
- Working in a specific genre
- Mixing editing styles together