Shaun: How do you go about putting sound to film?
Dane: Sound editing is really all about, you watching the film not as an editor but as the audience. You have to follow the sound in your head. what are you hearing in your head? If you are hearing what is coming out of the speakers and it is different from what is in your head you have some work to do. You have to follow what is in the story. There are emotional needs of the story telling. Then there is the willing suspension of the perceptual point of the storytelling. Meaning if somebody is standing on the street corner in a movie and a car drives by, does that character perceive the sound of that car going by? If so you need to put a sound there. If not then you don’t. If that character is totally lost in thought, you might not want to have the sound of the car going by but you don’t want to make the audience think there is a mistake. So it could be portraying the sound of the car going by as a whooshing sound because that is the emotional experience of that character standing next to the car going by. First it is emotionally what sound is necessary then in terms of the perceptional reality what rules are you following or not following. The best sound editing is the least predictable and the most familiar. When I worked on the Matrix it was everyone’s intention to not put sounds in the movie that anyone has ever heard before, but at the same time there were requirements like doors that close and guns being shot. The modified reality of the virtual world helped but people still have to believe that the humans in the film believed the sounds they were hearing. Every movie has the same challenges. You have to figure out what the priorities are for the audiences experience.
Via: Social Sound Design