Film School: Sound Design

'See With Your Ears: Spielberg And Sound Design' | Nerdwriter 'See With Your Ears: Spielberg And Sound Design' | Nerdwriter

Film students should ask: “What do your ears see?”

It’s difficult to say what’s more tremendous: the way tension is crafted by director Steven Spielberg and sound designer Ben Burtt in this scene from Munich (2005), or this deconstruction of said scene by Nerdwriter:

Nerdwriter looks at the sound design of magic across the Harry Potter movies:

Then there are of course the techniques pioneered by influential editor and sound designer, Walter Murch (once again, via Nerdwriter):

Don’t just pay attention to the sound – pay attention to what that sound is trying to say

Sound Design: Lying To Your Ears‘ – Now You See It

Now You See It looks at films which use sound design to create noises, for things such as eye blinks and camera moves, which don’t even exist:

Diegetic sound (that is, the sound of objects and environments within the film’s story world) can also be designed to accentuate the subjective experience of the characters. As a case study, Thomas Flight demonstrates Why The Batman Sounds Different:

Watch the first minute of this scene from Martin Scorsese‘s The Aviator (2004), paying close attention to the sound design of the various cameras, which sound more like grating tools and rusty weapons, all pointed at Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) in this character assassination:

Try It Yourself

MAKE. ART. NOW and Marshall McGee have some fun creating dynamic (and increasingly brutal?) sound effects using household items:

Further Viewing

Munich sound designer Ben Burtt is best known for his innovative work on the Star Wars films – but the long list of films he’s worked on is only nearly as impressive as his creative techniques, which we look at here:

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