Category Archives: Thoughts & Ideas

Audio Storytelling: street sound vs. theme music

We watched two different opening shots for “Touch of Evil”. Both contained audio for theme music and street noise, and you can’t have one without the other. Take out the theme music, and you’re left guessing the mood and tone of the scene, and possibly the whole movie. The theme music, and the soundtrack for the rest of the movie, is created to convey a specific emotion or “sense” (sense of danger, calm, energy, etc.). The music communicates what the director is attempting to arouse in you, and he/she can manipulate those feelings to create a mood, be that irony, suspense, or what have you. But it needs to compliment the “street noise”, or the realistic scenery noises, aka background noise. Background noise is very important to the scene. If you take it out, you’re left with Charlie Chaplain films from the 1920’s

Now, there’s nothing wrong with silent films. They can be very fun and entertaining, but it’s extremely limited in what you can do artistically. Background noise takes the scene from 2-D to 3-D, making the situations of the actors more relatable.

Comparatively, theme music is vastly more important then street noise. Even Plays (not including sketches) at least have intro pieces, and sometimes even theme music for certain characters. But street noise is like the altos in a choir (please bear with this metaphor), and the music is the Sopranos. Sopranos are the melody that get your point across, but the Altos make the choir enjoyable and stand out, and are absolutely necessary to make a chord.

Safari murder

One quiet day in a small town, 10937566_875250945830974_245136746_n

There was a knock on the door of the smallest house, with the loneliest woman 10443963_875250975830971_856595434_n

Slightly intrigued, she looked out her window. And felt her heart flutter.10965729_875250805830988_61721572_n (1)

She beckoned him in, and they talked for a while. She felt her smile grow larger and larger. The teapot boiling, she went to shush it. And came back to a frightening scene.10953894_875250882497647_189396849_n

Blood rushing she ran up the stairs10313871_875250995830969_82084523_n

But her luck no longer held out. She should’ve been frightened, but loved the surge. She died a happy woman. But her cat, the only witness, held the moral reserve to hide under the bed and fear from afar…10968243_875250899164312_343746090_n

Noir storytelling

I chose for my movies, China town and Killers Kiss. In Killers Kiss, the most reoccurring Noir element was the lightingkillerskiss killerskiss2

 

A lot of the scenes had lighting as seen above. Drastic shadows (on the right), and limited light (on left).This type of lighting leaves a ton to the imagination, and contrast is naturally appealing to the eye.

chinatown

A similar theme was seen in Chinatown, although the Noir elements are less obvious in this movie. I the very beginning, the P.I made a reference to “Venetian blinds”. Which I though was pretty clever of them

 

Photography

I’m not one for selfies. And the wave of budding “photographers” from my generation hasn’t made me want to join the movement. But I have always had respect for professionals. People who are seriously passionate for it and are doing it to make a difference or capture beauty, not jut for a self-absorbed reason. I’ve tagged along with one of my friends (a “budding” photographer) as she’s done photo shoots, and when she would let me have my hands on her expensive camera, I’d feel a charge. But that’s my limited experience with photo taking.

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Looking through National Geographic, and photos people feel are most iconic, I noticed some trending elements. Movement, authenticity, and always ALWAYS a story. The photographer is trying to capture the story behind the person, animal, building etc. in the most candid way possible. Now there’s design principle to keep in mind, like placement within the frame, contrasting colors, the right background. And technical stuff, like different settings on the camera for different lighting, diffusers, and extremely complicated editing equipment. But none of that makes a good picture. A little test is if you look at a picture and connect with the subject, feel a strong emotion (be it amazement, awe, or anger), and to look at it for more than 5 seconds, then generally you have a solid picture.

 

 

Writing Noir

This week, we read A LOT of Noir. It was gripping, dark, and all contained a murder motif. The females were all hyper-sexualized and broke the traditional female characteristics of the time. Instead of being prim,unkempt, and prudish they were gritty and promiscuous (all had a hinted preference for S&M sexual preferance).The men fell into extremely masculine roles and the foil for the antagonist was usually another male.
Noir style is defiant of the cultural dynamics everyone was desperately tying to convey. As people, we have this sick craving for the twisted human nature. We become addicted to the shock and marvel at how cold the human heart can be,especially if the culture surrounding you is trying to give the appearance of put-together and innocent. The creators of Noir recognized this and appealed to our need for some perversion. This subject material is very controversial, but yet the style is still around. In fact, very popular film and T.V shows are based directly from Noir. It’s a brilliant style and took cahones to make, but it’s become the most important revolution to American film and culture to date.