Forbidden Lies

There are many different ways to build depth of sound into a film. Not all of the sounds you hear when watching a film come from the actions you see. In the case of the documentary Forbidden Lies, when you really listen you can tell various sounds that have been added along with the vocals and music tracks to the film.

In this clip, I picked up on so many different generic sounds that have been built up in post. Some of the examples include: Birds, chimes, cars, a register, a camera shutter, a rattle, rustling paper, coins, and that is just in the short three min clip. A lot of these sounds are really quite generic and could have been sourced from a website or sound bank of effects that have been collected over time.

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Some of the sounds that have added to the scene make a lot of sense with the image that you are seeing. For instance the birds chirping outside when they are having a picnic. There is also instances where you see typing or money and in those cases you hear the sound of a keyboard (0:57) or coins clinging together (3:00). These sounds are indicative of the imagery you see.

Other sounds, that did not necessarily go with what you were seeing, did however symbolically go with what was being said. At (2:04) the woman is talking about an indicator that something is wrong. At the same time you also hear a rattlesnakes tail which typically is used to signal that there is danger near or that something is wrong. It doesn’t seem odd or out of place when you see and hear that combination because you associate that sound with an indicator. Sounds do not always have to be used to imitate the image that you see as long as there is a reason for using it.

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Not all sounds are good and indicative of the sights or words that are being said.  At (0:20) the girl throws her scarf up in the air and it flows to the ground and lands behind the car. What is normally very light having little to no sound, in the film has a very heavy thud sound. I listened to it to try and figure out what it was and even tested it in my kitchen to see what it might have been. The closest thing I found to the sound was dropping a bag of rice which is definitely not at all what scarf would sound like. In this instance I think it would have been smarter to go with a different sound to use for the scarf.

If you are unable to capture sounds during the filming you can always create them in post. Just like with what I did with the bag of rice you can recreate and record sounds that will later be layered into the film. Each one of the sounds that I mentioned earlier could have been captured after the filming. The most important part when adding the sounds is post is to not make then seem out of place or cause distraction from the film itself.

– Bec

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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