For this week's blog article, we are pleased to bring you this guest post written by Director and long time collaborator of 344 Audio - Kaine Levy. I was a musician before I became a filmmaker, so I always understood the importance of audio post right from the get go. However, I have seen a number of projects fail due to poor sound, and this is with respect to both on-set and post-production sound.
I like to think of the visuals as your initial attraction to someone. Sure, they capture your attention at first, but after a while you get used to it. A personal example for me would be The Revenant. Stunning imagery no doubt about it, but after half an hour of wide angle close-ups with vast mountain ranges in the background, I became desensitised to it.
Sound, on the other hand, is more comparable to the things that makes you feel much more deeply about someone. It’s the nuances, the quirks, the details. The sound often carries the story. You could turn the volume off of some of your favourite movies and probably have no idea what’s going on at times, but if you watched that same movie blind with the sound on, you’d still follow what’s going on. Whether it’s the subtext in the dialogue, the ambience set by the sound design and foley, or the emotion driven by the music, sound is a much more complete experience.
It all starts with capturing good sound on set. The last thing you want to do is have to replace everything in post - it’s expensive and it’s cumbersome. Having a great sound recordist is key, but make sure you involve your sound designer as early on in the process as possible. People often forget how useful an audio-post specialist can be during pre-production. They can help guide you on how best to capture dialogue and wildtracks on set, and even create mockup sound effects that can inform how you direct a scene.
After that it’s just a case of maintaining good communication with them throughout the process, bouncing ideas off each other whenever possible. In my films I love building worlds, and sound design is one of my secret weapons for achieving this.
An audience is very forgiving of a blurry or imperfect image, but muffled or muddy sound will get them switching off quicker than a 1950’s television. If they can’t hear your sound properly they’re going to get frustrated, and if they can’t understand it then your story is going to get lost.
As a director, I always involve Alex right from the development stages, and it pays dividends in the final product. Our latest collaboration, Farewell Waltz, is a testament to that.
My name is Kaine Levy. I'm a narrative/commercial director and award-winning producer from London, UK. I'm currently pursuing my dream of directing big-budget feature films.
My aim is to help other indie filmmakers by sharing my insight and the lessons I learn along the way. I share this information on my social media platforms, my blog, and my podcast "Slate 1 Take 1”. We hope you enjoyed this article! Please go and check out Kaine's website and socials.
Twitter If you enjoyed this article please check out our ultimate guide to audio post-production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.
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