How close we are to the source of a sound is a huge emotional variable. The ability to play with proximity is one of the most potent tools in sound design. Whether our monster is 100 feet away or 1 foot away makes a mind bogglingly big difference. The same is true, of course, for our lover.

On the other hand, it makes very little emotional or dramatic difference whether the monster is on our left or our right. I think we spend too much energy on left-right, and not enough on distant-close. Blocking (choreographing) a scene with close-distant dynamics is one way to make it more powerful. It’s a tool we should be thinking about when advising directors how to set up scenes for their most sound potential during production.

One thought

  1. Hi Randy,

    Indeed, the point-of-audition is an incredible narrative tool, I always pay attention to this when watching/listening a film. And if you combine perspective (distant-close) with sound localisation I think we can actually feel ‘present’ in the filmic space.

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