As the year continues, many of these posts will be philosophical in nature. Some will be in contradiction to previous postings. These are not intended as truths or assertions, they’re merely thoughts…ideas. Think of this as stream of consciousness over a wide span…
One of the most effective uses of sound design that I heard recently didn’t come from a film, tv program or video game. It came from a film trailer, and it had everything to do with rhythm. Before I go on, why don’t you give the trailer for Fences a watch.
I saw this Friday night in the theater. What really caught my attention was an evolution of the wood sawing we hear in the beginning; that stylized call back to it in the back half of the trailer. Rhythm can set up all sorts of interpretations, expectations and emotions in a listener. It’s not a tool exclusively for musical use either, as this trailer shows. The rhythm of that stylized “sawing” basically ignores the pacing of the picture edit, setting up an opposition in pacing between the visual and the auditory cues. It creates an excellent tension to reflect the tensions that exist in this fictional family.
Rhythm isn’t something we talk about frequently in sound design. So I felt compelled to share this after experiencing it.