“I believe you shouldn’t force the audience’s interpretation of a character or story. The more you explain things, the less intriguing and imaginable they are for the viewers. Film to me, in its essence, in its ultimate nature, is silent. Music and dialogue are there in fill in what is lacking in the image. But you should be able to tell the story with moving pictures alone.”– TAKESHI KITANO
My screenwriting students at Columbia sometimes don’t get the incongruity. Film is a visual medium. Hitchcock understood it best: The juxtaposition and manipulation of moving images for emotional effect. Screenplay dialogue is there only to fill in the gap where necessary, when the images alone can’t convey all the information. You don’t have to say everything because we can SEE it. Screenplay dialogue should be railroad tracks. You have the first rail, what is spoken. But you also have the second rail, the UNSPOKEN, the subtext. Actors fill in emotional gaps with body language. And what else fills in the emotional gap?
A great composer can do wonders to lead the audience where you want to take them. A great score is pure manipulation.
I must admit that I until recently I never appreciated what great sound could do, or even how it was attained. It was someone else’s job, a mystery to me. So today I thought it might be interesting to look at that aspect of movie-making. This being Script Gods Must Die though, I have to start you off with a short Puck-like diversion. Check out this video on the life of an adult film foley artist:
Interesting, eh?! Now on to something a bit more mainstream. With recent controversy about the sound of INTERSTELLER, check out this short film on how they did the sound on that movie. Fascinating stuff.
The soundtracks from dozens of other movies come are featured at a website called SoundWorks. It’s a gas to see how the sound from some of your favorite movies came to be. Check it out.