7th Assignment

September 25, 2008 at 5:39 am (Uncategorized)

This assignment is about the film “Elephant” regarding to the theory of “The Audio in Film Productions”.


Different types of microphones

Omni-directional microphones:

used for picking up general sound, the ambience sound, of a location

è school canteen/cafeteria


Super Cardioid microphones:

primary used for picking up sound because they exclude the majority of ambient sound

è used for dialogues and speeches in the film



are small clips on mics

è used in the film to hear better individual characters when they are talking


Microphone Hierarchy

there are 4 basic ways to approach miking a subject:

1)    Boom
best sound quality will be realized employing a boom overhead of the subject
è used for example in the scene in which the photographer takes a picture of one student in the corridor

2)    Plant
they are strategically distributed on the shooting set to cover also isolated characters
è when the girl runs to the library and passes the photographer we can still hear their dialogue

3)    Lavalieres
are small mics worn on the body
è they could have used it for a variety of characters in the film

4)    Radio mic/ Wireless Lavs
these are lavalieres working with radio signal and therefore without wires
è same as above, the could have used it in various scenes


Elements of the Soundtrack

1)    Narration
many films have a narrator figure who provides explanations
è in this particular film there is no presence of a narrator


2)    Music
music adds sense and emotions to the visual; it tells the audience what kind of feelings they are supposed to have; different music selection impacts strongly on the sense of the scene and can change a terrifying scene into a comedy scene
è when the two boys walk through the school and shoot people the music is adapted to the visual as there’s a usage of heavy, scaring and horrific sound to transmit a dark, sad and shocking mood to the audience

There are extraneous and practical sources of music in the film:
extraneous: to accompany the scene of shooting with right music
practical: when the two boys watch the film of Hitler, the tv is the practical source of sound


3)    Sound Effects
is the sound in the background that naturally occurs that objects and people produce; all these sounds are defined as natural;
sound effects are either “frame-accurate” (“hard”)
è when the boys shot persons, the visual was perfectly synchronized with the noise of the shot
or “wild” (“soft”)
when people got shot that where not in the camera view, their screaming was just there, it didn’t have to be synchronized with any visual

They might have used the process of Foley for producing the sound of the footsteps which consists in recording the sound of an artist who mimics the action of the actor on the screen
è there might have been an artist miming with a well-selected pair of boots the walking of the two boys through the school halls during this terror act


4)    Dialogues/Speech
The audience wants to hear what the actors say!

There’re 3 cases of dialogues/speeches:
1) the words are spoken by an actor on screen with visible lips
2) the words are spoken by an actor on screen with invisible lips
3) the words are spoken by an actor off screen

and 2 methods of taking dialogue/speech
1) “lipsync”: the process of matching the words with the movement of the lips on screen
2) “wild”: no need for synchronization with an on screen source

The recording of dialogues usually occurs on the set during the shot
— called
“production dialogue”.

Sometimes they record on the set additional lines of dialogue, without cameras rolling to be used later
“wild lines”.

è in our particular film they may have used all these techniques


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