AB BP6: Evaluation

Planning

For this project, I produced a proposal before I began with the project. This proposal contained the details of the video I used such as the runtime of the film, a synopsis of the events and how I will treat the film when I start to add the sounds. I decided on taking this project on by doing a comedic style film in my proposal and I stuck to this whilst I went through with the project. I also added a schedule to this plan so that I could follow this and get the work done on time, which I found hard to stick too as I found the work hard to produce so I unfortunately didn’t stick to this schedule, but still produced the work on time. Overall though, I did use the rest of my proposal as it helped me when it came to planning the sounds that I needed to use in the final product.

My planning was effective overall as I did manage to meet the deadline that was set, but it was a tough project to complete to the deadline. To manage my time better, I feel I could have been more enthusiastic about the project but I found it hard to engage in the project as I didn’t find it as interesting as I would have thought.

There were a few constraints that I found when I was doing the project. One of these was that it was hard to record the sounds needed as I didn’t have access to the correct resources and facility’s to be able to create and record the sounds for he video. This meant that a large amount of the sounds came from pre-recorded sources on the Internet.

I think I planned the production effectively, I just found that I have little interest in the sound production side of media even though I understand the importance of sound in film.

Research

I conducted research into the history of sound design as I thought this would be effective in advancing my knowledge of how to create and record sounds using different materials and props, by looking at how the professionals  create and record sound and how the creation of sound has advanced in the media over the past century. This was done by looking at articles and videos on the internet about these sound designers and recording some of the findings in bullet points as inspiration to when I’m recording my sounds. These methods were effective as I advanced in my knowledge of not only how to produce and record sounds but also of the history behind sound design and the pioneers that have changed the sound designing industry.

After conducting this research, I used my findings to begin planning and practicing the methods of sound recording that I had discovered in my research. This was to test my ways of producing sounds when it came to finally designing sounds for my final project. This ultimately helped me when I began the final product as the research had taught me the skills I needed to record the sounds for the video.

I believe that I could have produced more research on the different ways of recording sound as a lot of the research i did was aimed at sound designers and their methods, rather than at the many ways of designing sounds in different environments with different pieces of equipment. I think if I had done some more research into this area of sound, then I would have had a better knowledge of how to produce top quality sounds in a smaller environment.

During the production, I did some small research into how to record a few different sounds as I didn’t initially know how to go about recording them. This research proved useful as I found out how to record sounds in the small space and little items I had on offer, which were a good quality when I reviewed the sounds later on.

The Product

I think that my final product fits the purpose that I originally started with. The codes and conventions that I originally planned to make sure where in my sound for the film were clearly used and shown in the final product. I think the only thing I could have done to ensure it fit the specific purpose more was to include more sounds that would have made the piece more comedic as I planned to before, but with limited time and equipment, I wasn’t able to achieve this.

Overall, im happy with the technical quality of the final product. I think most of the sounds fit well with the images that are shown on the video when being played and the sounds also are timed perfectly with the placements and movements that are shown in the video, giving the idea that the sounds do belong with the image on the screen. I do think that some parts could be improved, such as the sounds of the people and the footsteps. I wasn’t able to record and collect a varied amount of sounds for the footsteps and the people and head in the video and this shows when listening closely to the sound track. The footsteps are generic and sound the same with each step that is taken because I wasn’t able to record a variety of footstep sounds to apply to my video, which meant that I had to leave the footsteps in their generic state. Also, the murmurs and sounds that the head and people make dont match with their facial expressions as I couldn’t find and fit the right sounds for them, or record the correct sounds as I didn’t have the right people or equipment, which meant had to leave the sounds as they were. Despite these improvements though, I think they still fit well with the video, I just feel I shouldn’t have used them as much and collected a wider range.

I developed a large amount of technical skills during this production. I developed my skills in sound design, such as how to create and record realistic sounding, good quality audio tracks using safe methods with props. I have also developed skills in using the sound recording equipment correctly and safely. I have also developed my skills using video and sound editing software as I have used these a lot more during this production stage and have gained knowledge of how to use all the features they have on offer.

I believe the final product would appeal to any target audience. I didn’t originally have a target audience set in mind as the product is okay to be viewed by anyone of any age so I didn’t work with the idea of having to appeal to a set age range and audience demographic. This product would appeal to any audience as it is funny and a well made soundscape that fits well with the video and keeps the humor that is shown and brings it into another form, allowing the audience to feel more of the film than just viewing it, as they are able to hear it as well.

Before the production, I didn’t undertake any audience research as I felt that the project would be fit for viewing by all ages and demographics. This factor allowed me to create the project to a high standard easily as I wasn’t focused on aiming the final product at a single audience demographic and rather making it suitable for all audiences as the original film was intended to be for.

I believe that my product does follow the Media law and Ethical guidelines as all the footage and sounds are safe and view able by anyone.

Conclusion

If I were to undertake this unit again, I personally feel I could improve a few things about how I complete the overall unit. For starters, I feel that I could have shown more interest towards the unit, but this sound is something that I have little interest in so it was hard for me to take on the project with the correct enthusiasm I could have. I also feel I could have improved in all three factors of the unit.

I think I should have created more detailed planning of the project so that when it comes to the final product, it is easier and smoother to complete than what it was this time. I believe I didn’t plan enough of the sounds that I was going to use, which became a problem when it came to the final product as I didn’t have all the sounds I need as I didn’t plan to record them.

As for research, I feel I should have researched more into how to record specific sounds and how to use sound recording equipment and sound editing software as this was a struggle when it came to producing the product. Most of my research was focused on the history and pioneers of sound design and not at the main importance of how to record and edit sounds when they are needed.

I believe the only thing to improve about the final product is the overall quality of it as I didn’t record a variety of sounds such as the footsteps so the sounds were generic and sound all the same. If I undertook this project again, I would definitely record and collect a wider variety of sounds so that the soundscape on the video doesn’t sound generic like it did this time, and i had to cover with music tracks.

AB BP2: History Of Sound Design

What is Foley?

Foley is recreating sound effects for a piece of media on a sound stage in a Post Production Studio. By using many different types of props and objects that are available, a Foley Artist can recreate and replace the original sound completely or they can use existing sounds and augment them to create a better quality and useful sound track.

Sound that is recorded on the set of a shoot is usually more focused at capturing the dialogue audio rather than the sounds that are created on the set. This is down to the fact that most things on a film set aren’t real so they won’t create the real sound that the object should make, meaning that Foley needs to be used to enhance the audio of the media. Also other sounds that are captured in the background from the loud modern world also can be captured and this becomes a problem in the final edit, especially if the background noise mask out the dialogue, so the sound is cut and Foley or the actor re-recording dialogue [ADR] and this being added in at the post production stage.

Foley can be broken down into three main category’s, Footsteps being the characters movements, Cloth being the sounds of the costumes that the characters are wearing and Props, which are the sounds that objects make in a scene.

History of Foley

19th-20th century: Vaudeville was the first trace of Foley being used as on stage shows, a live band accompanied the visuals and the drummer was usual used to highlight dance kicks or joke gags using a symbol or snare hit.

1920’s: Silent films transitioned to talking pictures. Universal were releasing a big budget silent film version of a musical but as Warner Bros had released Jazz Singer, containing sound, a year before, audiences wanted sound to accompany the films, so Universal began to use sound in their films, using a forty piece orchestra and singers on a sound stage at their studio, they recreated the music of the musical. But the sound engineers still had trouble at the time. They found it difficult to sync the right sound effects with the visual gestures, which is when Jack Foley created the idea of watching the film and recording the sound effects live at the same time, so the sounds sync with the picture and this process is what is now called Foley.

1930’s: Introduced radio broadcasts, which used the same sounds as Vaudeville to highlight gags in the shows. Radio stations then began to create scripted shows and relied on sound effects to create a mental picture of the scene to the audience. Silent film movie houses began to employ orchestras to provide a soundtrack and sound effects to the film that was playing above them on the screen. This way of tracking action on screen is still used nowadays in cartoons such as Looney Tunes.

Pioneers of Sound

Jack Foley: He created what is now known as Foley sounds. Working at Universal Studios on a silent picture, where the technology was changing and movies had started to use sound and become talking pictures, and with help from co-workers, he helped this transition of films. He decided that sound effects and the sound track would be easier to sync with the picture if the film was playing in the background and the sounds were recorded live on one reel and played against the film. This was then called Foley sound recording in later years and Jack received a number of awards for the contributions and changes he made to the film and sound industry. This process of Foley sound recording is the main basis of the media today and even though technology has advanced, the process that Foley created remains the same as it did when it was created.

Ben Burtt: Most famously was the sound designer for the Star Wars films, having a reputation for using the most famous and used sound dubbed the ‘Wilhelm Scream’. He has also worked on other films by Lucasfilm Limited with Skywalker Sound, as well as WALL-E and Star Trek. His most famous sound creations are The Lightsaber, Darth Vader’s Breathing and R2-D2’s ‘Voice Sounds’, as well as creating the languages included in Star Wars, for which he has written a phrase book and travel guide.

Walter Murch: Created the term ‘Sound Designer’. Been editing sound in Hollywood since 1969’s The Rain People. He has edited sound on American Graffiti and The Godfather in 1973 and 74. He won a range of awards including academy awards and Oscars. He has also directed and edited a range of films. As a sound designer and editor, he is one of the few universally acknowledged masters of the sound design field. Along with Ben Burtt, he has helped to elevate the creation and impact of film sound in the modern era.

Relating to my project

These all relate to my project as they have all shaped the way sound designing is done and how sounds can be created in the modern era for film. This means that by using their strategies, I can design, record, produce and edit the sounds that I need to create the final project.


Sources:

http://www.marblehead.net/foley/jack.html

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ben_Burtt

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004555/

http://www.marblehead.net/foley/whatisitman.html

 

 

AB BP4: Project Planning

Spotting Sheet

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Tracking Sheet

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Risk Assessment

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Production Diary

08/02/16: Began to plan and record sounds using the equipment I have on offer. Uploaded these sounds to my computer and ordered them how I need.

09/02/16: Finish recording sounds I need and upload and order them on computer. Find any other pre-recorded sounds from internet and order them how in folders.

10/02/16: Begin the final product, import video and all sounds and order into folders in software.

11/02/16: Add all sounds in and edit them to the right position to match with the video.

12/02/16: Finish producing the final product and export the video. Upload to Google drive.

20/02/16: Refine and improve the sounds for the video production.

21/02/16: Make final improvements and re-export the video. Upload to Google Drive.

AB BP1: SFX, Foley and Editing

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Throughout the past few weeks of Unit 5, we have done a lot of practise work on creating and using SFX and Foley.

Week 1

In the first week we practised creating and recording sound effects using a Marantz kit. I small groups, these sounds were made by various objects such as celery which created the sound of bones breaking. This task gave us an idea of how to create and record different sound effects using a variety of objects so that when it comes to creating sound effects to overlay on a project, we will have the skills and knowledge to be able to create these sounds correctly and with a good quality so, when they are played back, they sound like bones breaking for example rather than celery snapping.

Week 2

In the second week, we worked as a class on a larger project. We were to create a short video using the props we had and creating sound effects to overlay them, these were sound effects were recorded at the same time as the video was being shot, so we could line the sounds up correctly. To begin with, we came together to put ourselves in different groups for the recording. There were four actors, a cameraman, and three groups to create the sound effects we needed. After this, we began to share ideas for what we wanted the video to consist of. After coming up with notes and condensing them into two ideas, we discussed and chose the one we thought we would like to work on more.

Our final idea consisted of a medieval meeting of two knights who were on horseback and began to battle as one disarmed the other and stabbed him through the chest, before shooting him down. We picked this idea because we felt that we were able to create the correct sound effects with the props we had to use. The three groups took on a roll each. One group used four coconuts and hit them together in time to create the sound effects of a horses hooves galloping. The second group took spanners, knifes and knife sharpness to create the sounds of the swords being pulled out and clashed together, and also for the disarming by clashing the objects together and sliding them upon each other. The final group created the sounds of the stabbing of the sword in the person and the persons bones breaking by using celery and cabbage to create these sounds. The celery was snapped in half to create the sounds of bones being broken as something hit them. The cabbage was stabbed by a knife to create the sounds of stabbing a body.

We encountered one problem when recording these sound effects and footage together at the same time. The classroom environment we were in wasn’t suitable for the practical we were doing as, unlike in a sound booth used in real sound recording, the classroom had a large amount of echo to it, as there was no carpet or curtains to absorb the echoed sound. As a result of this, the recordings of the sounds picked up the background sounds that were made as the footage was recorded at the same time as the sound effects were, meaning that the sound effects recording had small amounts of background noise in them.

Week 3

In the morning of the third week, we practised using Garage Band to use pre-recorded and found sound effects to create an audio/visual soundscape that would be used in a film or radio production. This was a simple activity and we were able to use the sounds to create good quality soundscapes in the software, as we practised using the tools it had to offer. These soundscapes we had created were then played out to the class and given a review, which all came with positive feedback. This activity gave me the experience of creating and editing a soundscape and this is what will be done for the assessed work for this unit.

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In the second half of the day, we were given a task to analyse footage of a film trailer and, using a Foley Tracking Sheet, complete spotting on the content in the footage. This is skills building on how to spot a film and create a tracking sheet as this is what i will need to do when it comes to the final project at the end of the unit.

AB BP3: Proposal for Melies Film

Title of film: Kulfi-L’Homme a la tete de caoutchouc [The man with the rubber head]

Duration: 2:30

Synopsis: in a lab, a doctor or chemist places a head onto a table. He fixes the head to a rubber tube and fills the head with air from a pair of bellows. The head increases in size and continues until it grows to a large height. The person then fears of the head bursting, deflates it to the original size it was. He then calls his assistant and informs him of the discovery he made. The assistant experiments with the head and enlarges the head till it bursts and knocks the two down. The final scene is the chemist kicking his assistant from the lab in anger of the damage he caused.

Treatment: I am thinking of producing this as a comedic style piece as this is the main genre of the short film. This would mean adding in sound effects that are humorous and add a comedic tone throughout the film, especially when the head is expanding and bursting.

Equipment: Marantz kit, directional mic, sound booth

Schedule:

Deadline is 29th February 2016

11.01.16          Select film and complete spotting sheet

Write proposal and plan schedule

18.01.16          Begin to prep sound effects and set up

film in Audition or Garage Band

25.01.16          Work on project-recording and editing

01.02.16          work on project-recording and editing

08.02.16          Blogposts and catch up

[Half term]

15.02.16          Work on project-recording and editing

22.02.16          Work on project-recording and editing

Finish off work

29.03.16 Hand in week (review week)