Themes and Variations

An analysis of most stories in development, including scripts, should reveal possible sound themes that can be revisited several times during the course of the story.  The changing qualities of the sound from iteration to iteration can reflect, reinforce, and give voice to changes in character and in the narrative as a whole.  This analysis should help shape the script and the way the story is shot during production.

Great Example:  The changing sound of the helicopters in Apocalypse Now, sometimes realistic and sometimes highly stylized, speaks eloquently to the changes in mood and perspective during the first two thirds of the film.

Note… the radically stylized helicopter sound we hear at the beginning of the film was not described in the script.  It was introduced in post production with the inclusion of slow motion images that were discovered by accident.  That accident was very useful, and potentially useful accidents are inevitable, but the idea of the sound of the helicopter reflecting Captain Willard’s craziness in the beginning of the film COULD have been written into the script.

One thought

  1. Interesting point and a very interesting example to support your thoughts. I don’t really like that film in general. But creatively speaking this is a perfect example, to show that audio “can be” and “is” super important in the movie. I really liked how that synthetic helicopter sound matched the music perfectly without single word.

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