This series of talks introduces you to a deeper understanding of sound design focusing on the true importance of sound in cinema and how we develop strategies to work creatively with sound.
The talks start with a survey of the different approaches to film sound design leading to key topics and concepts: the influence of Michel Chion’s seminal book, Audiovision; different ways sound transforms the image; and how sound operates in the production of meaning.
The talks cover all genres, from classics by Lang, Hitchcock, Godard and Kubrick, to contemporary works by Lynch, Fincher, the Coen brothers, Nolan and Martel – and even The Simpsons and Breaking Bad – providing a wide perspective of what sound provides, and making the case for why studying sound design is so important for those working in media and the arts.
Each module of 4 talks will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
The 3 sets of talks are designed to work together as a complete short course in film sound design. However, you may book each module individually.
* Diegetic and non-diegetic sound
How do we use sound to describe space, both physical and psychological? What does the audience hear and what do characters inside the film hear? The manipulation of diegetic and non-diegetic sound is a primary technique of sound design. Examples from films by David Fincher, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch.
* On-screen and off-screen
Next we pay attention to what is on-screen and what is off-screen. One of the strongest sound techniques for storytelling is off-screen sound. It includes voice-over, narration, music, ambient noises, elements of the film’s sound world, and other sound sources that ‘are not there’. Examples from films by Gonzalez Iñarritu, Woody Allen, Richard Loncraine, David Fincher, and others.
* Internal sounds
A further complexity of a film’s soundtrack concerns the ‘point of hearing’ or who is hearing the sound we are hearing. Where is this person situated? And are the sounds coming from the mind of the character objective or subjective? Examples from Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, Saving Private Ryan, Amadeus, Midnight Express, El aura, and others.
* Sounds of the ‘ether’
As we navigate through the soundtrack we come across another special category of sound – sounds of the ‘ether’. These include telephones, radios, transmissions and emissions, sounds that move between on- and off-screen, diegetic and non-diegetic. Special cases and treatments of these types of sounds will be demonstrated by examples from Blue Velvet, Gravity, American Graffiti, Thelma and Louise, and others.
The modules are independent of each other. Modules 2 and 3 can be understood and appreciated without having attended Module 1.
Following each event, a recording is available in the Shop.
Gustavo Costantini is an Argentinean sound designer, musician, professor, and researcher. He received his PhD in Sound Design from the University of Buenos Aires (under the guidance of Michel Chion), and is now professor of Sound and Editing at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and at the National University of the Arts (UNA). As a visiting professor, he has taught at University of London (Goldsmiths and Royal Holloway), University for Creative Arts, London Film School, International Film School (Cologne, Germany), European Film College (Ebeltoft, Denmark), John Cabot University (Rome), and at ORT University and the University of La Republica (Montevideo, Uruguay), among others. He has worked in cinema, video, theatre and radio, in Argentina and internationally. He was a member of the Editorial Board of The Soundtrack and The New Soundtrack, along with Walter Murch, Michel Chion, Roberto Perpignani, Carter Burwell, among others.
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