Using Sound To "Show, Don't Tell"
Updated: May 4
Randy Thom is a hero of creative, narrative-driven sound (The Iron Giant, Forrest Gump) who's philosophies have always been an inspiration. As story-focused sound designers, we believe that the tone of a film is many times defined by the way it uses sound, 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 is 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 writes in asoundeffect.com article: "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 MelodyGun has always been to develop a deeper collaboration, communication and trust with our clients. Hamed and I read every script, and if possible, we talk with production in pre-pro to understand their vision and give sound feedback and perspective that can be helpful on-set.