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  • Writer's pictureThomas Ouziel

"Show, Don't Tell" Using Sound

Randy Thom is a hero of creative, narrative-driven sound (The Iron Giant, Forrest Gump) who's philosophies have always been an inspiration. As a story-focused sound designer, I believe that the tone of a film is defined by the way it uses sound throughout the course of the film, even when the audience never realizes it. The earlier in the process these possibilities are explored, the more opportunity it presents for the film to uniquely and viscerally capture the experience. The later you wait in the process, the narrower the potential use of sound as a narrative tool becomes. It's an opportunity to use the surroundings to naturally segue from an objective to a subjective experience, and back again, without ever breaking the illusion, and emphasizes the "show, don't tell" ability of the cinematic experience.

Randy wrote an insightful article titled "Screenwriting for Sound" and this paragraph really stood out: "The radical idea I want to put in front of you is this: Someone who thinks creatively in terms of sound and story should be used as a resource during writing or re-writing on many films. Someone with intuition about those sonic pathways into the story is needed very early in the process. Usually it will not be the screenwriter because we are talking about a skill set most writers don’t possess. Writers need all kinds of help. Sonic help is crucial, at least for certain kinds of stories."

The vision of our studio has always been to develop a deeper collaboration, communication and trust with clients. We take the time to read scripts and talk with production in pre-pro to understand the themes and characters that guide their vision and give sound feedback and perspective that can be helpful on-set.


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