Lecture #6: Sound & Music

This week we focus on the use of Sound & Music in Editing. Sound editing, music and mixing are key components of the art of editing.

In this session we will learn about diegetic and non-diegetic sound; recording sound (mic placements, POV, room tone, thumbprint recording); mixing sound (what you can and can’t solve in the mix); elements of sound editing; stages of sound production and post production; working between picture and sound edit in advanced editing, and more.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Birth of Sound of Film. Scene on June 9, 1922, in lecture room 100 of the Physics laboratory, when Professor Joseph T. Tykociner gave the world’s first public demonstration of sound-on-film movies. His work caused the old system of “pictures on film, sound on phonograph discs,” to be discarded. Tykociner is behind the desk, looking at the horn microphone. Beside him is the first sound-picture camera. At far right of the table is the first sound-picture projector. Headphones hanging from the table or a loudspeaker were used to hear the sound. Credit: Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Birth of Sound of Film. Scene on June 9, 1922, in lecture room 100 of the Physics laboratory, when Professor Joseph T. Tykociner gave the world’s first public demonstration of sound-on-film movies. His work caused the old system of “pictures on film, sound on phonograph discs,” to be discarded. Tykociner is behind the desk, looking at the horn microphone. Beside him is the first sound-picture camera. At far right of the table is the first sound-picture projector. Headphones hanging from the table or a loudspeaker were used to hear the sound. Credit: Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

GUEST:

We are also very lucky to have as a guest, the  film composer ROBERT ELLIS-GEIGER. He brings a wealth of experience in composing for feature films and documentaries as well as working with sound for film.

ROBERT ELLIS-GEIGER remains an active performer and composer of music for film, TV, multimedia and the concert hall. Robert had designed state-of-the-art audio and multimedia facilities for: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Leeds Metropolitan University (England), Singapore Polytechnic and Griffith University (Australia) before he joined CityU.

Robert has studied under the late Australian film composer, Brian May (Mad Max I & II, Gallipoli, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Nightmare on Elm street 6: Freddy’s Finale). His current research is on “Trends in Contemporary Hollywood Film Scoring: Language and Technology”. You can find out more about Robert from his website.

Reading:

Chapter 2 “The Early Sound Film” The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice.

Links:

http://www.filmsound.org/links.htm

This is a video discussing in depth the Sound Design in STAR WARS EPISODE II.

WALTER MURCH talking about Soundscapes with Composer Charles Amirkhanian and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause.

If you ever question Walter Murch’s talent, listen to his incredible sound design in the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now

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Lecture #5: Rhythm, Pace, Emotion

This week we focus on Rhythm, Pace and Emotion in editing.

We also focus on the work and teachings of editor Walter Murch.

Murch has worked on some incredible award winning films. He edited sound on American Graffiti (1973) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), won his first Academy Award nomination for The Conversation (1974), won his first Oscar for Apocalypse Now (1979), and won an unprecedented double Oscar for sound and film editing for his work on The English Patient (1996). Murch’s editing Oscar was the first to be awarded for an electronically edited film (using the Avid system), and he is the only person ever to win Oscars for both sound mixing and film editing.

Lecture #6 Slides

Reading:

Chapter 29 “The Picture Edit and Pace” The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice.

Walter Murch, 1995, In the Blink of an Eye: A perspective on Film Editing. Silman-James  Press.

Ondaatje, Michael, 2004, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, Knopf.

Screen:

The Conversation, (1974)  Francis Ford Coppola

Excerpts from: The English Patient (2005)Anthony Minghella, Raising Arizona (1987) Coen Brothers, The  Conformist (1971) Bertolucci, In the Mood For Love (2000) Wong Kar-Wai, The Godfather II (1974) Francis Ford Coppola

Walter Much: The rule of 6

  1. Emotion: How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?
  2. Story: Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?
  3. Rhythm: Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?
  4. Eye Trace: How does the cut effect the location and movement of the audience’s focus in that particular film?
  5. Two-Dimensional Plane of Screen: Is the axis followed properly?
  6. Three-Dimensional Space: Is the cut true to established physical and spatial relationships?

Pace, Rhythm & Timing

Comic and action pacing in Raising Arizona (very low quality clip)

The complex and subtle pacing of the assassination sequence in The Conformist.

Mood and variation of pacing in Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000). This is a documentary on the film.

The Conversation (1974)

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Walter Murch on Rhythm

In Conversation with Walter Murch, Kiran Ganti

Much speaks about transitions and the role of transitions in editing.

“At the basic level, a transition is simply the process of changing from some state A to another state, B. What we should examine carefully is the degree of change, and our awareness of it. Change is happening all the time, though we are not always conscious of it. But without change there is no perception. This is somewhat of a paradox”

Walter Murch Articles

An incredible resource of articles, chapters, audio interviews and other material with Walter Murch.