Film Production – Sound Designer’s Journal

Creative Commons image by vancouverfilmschool at Flickr

This role is a combination of roles, and like the director, will probably require the student to distribute equal time during each part of the production. For a sound designer, recordist, mixer to be assessed in this task, the finished film should rely on the use of sound as an integral part of the production process.

During pre-production, the commentary should present evidence of the sound designer carefully going over scripts and storyboards with the director in order to decide what sound will be necessary for the production. In some cases, this may require foley (sound that is performed, such as knocking on a door or the sound of footsteps), which will have to be recorded by the students themselves and not taken from existing sound effects libraries. In other cases it may require designed sound, that is, recorded sounds that will be altered in a program such as GarageBand® or Audacity®. Sometimes for safety reasons students may need to use sounds from a pre-existing sound package (such as explosions). If original sound work can safely be created, however, then the work of the sound designer, recordist and mixer will be much easier to evaluate. During production, sound must be captured on set. This may require working the boom mike, making sure sound capture is accurate, and many other tasks that are the responsibility of the recordist. During post-production, the major role will be as the mixer for the project, creating a mix of sound effects and dialogue to create a pleasing effect for the audience, as well as mood, atmosphere and drama.

Please note: in a “real-world” scenario of film production, the creation of music would not necessarily be the responsibility of the sound editor/sound designer; music would generally be written by a composer. For the purposes of this film assessment task, however, the role of music composer is not available. Sound editors/sound designers are expected to be responsible for the final sound mix (which includes the music, as well as foley, sound effects, dialogue, ambient sound, and so on), but it would not be fair to mark these students for the creation of an element that is outside the structure of the film course. For this reason, any music used in the film should be created with the input of the entire production team and should, ideally, be original (please refer to the new copyright and creativity statement below). If the creation of the soundtrack is the responsibility of the sound designer, recordist or mixer, it may be a focus of the commentary. However, it should not outweigh the other responsibilities outlined above.

– Film Assessment Clarification Document 2015 (PDF)

Goal

  • Create a journal documenting each stage of film production

Product

  • Create blog posts (3 total) with embedded media evidence for each of three production stages.

Examples

Explanation

  • Students need to conduct extensive research for the IB Film projects and need experience moving through the workflow of producing films

Production Steps Evidence Requirements

Pre-production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  • Test recordings in the actual locations—make note of problems/solutions and make note of best settings on the recorder
  • Making a checklist of equipment
  • Making a workflow showing your recording set-up sequence
  • Evidence of discussions with the director and justification for choices
  • Map of each location showing placement of the recording equipment
  • Problems during recording and how you solved them
  • Influences from films you have seen—name the sound designer
  • A list of foley sounds needed for the film—should include times

Production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  • Evidence of capturing sound on set as part of the shoot
  • Evidence of how you created the foley sounds and how this was captured
  • Evidence of collating sound material, labelling and storing the footage to enable an organized edit process
  • Description of choices you made with justifications
  • Consideration of how music has been composed or created with a composer and the director
  • Consideration of what has influenced the musical score

Post-production Blog Post

Include all of the the following requirements as evidence in your blog post:

  • Consideration of how effective your sound design is on an artistic level as well as a technical level
  • Consideration of how your film could have been improved (without blaming equipment or other people involved)

Schedule

  • Week 1
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Pre-Production – Sound Designer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Test Recordings
        • Equipment Checklist
        • Recording Workflow
        • Location Maps
        • Foley Sounds
        • Discussions with Director
        • Influences from Films
        • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • Research material for script
      • Examine sample ??? (PDF)
    • Explore and select the Cinematic Storytelling conventions you want to highlight in the film from the resources section below
    • Write a ???  – Pre-production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Week 2
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Production – Sound Designer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Captured Sound
        • Foley Sounds
        • Collating Sound For Editing
        • Sound Choices
        • Composition Consideration
        • Musical Score Influences
        • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • ??? in ??? – Production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post
  • Week 3
    • Create a blog post titled, PROJECT NAME Film Pre-Production – Sound Designer’s Journal
      • Create headings for:
        • Summary
        • Sound Design Effectiveness
        • Working with The Editor
        • How I Could Have Improved The Film
        • What I Learned
    • Edit sound for the film – Post-production
    • Fill in evidence for each heading of the blog post
    • Publish blog post

Film Language Resources

  • Film language research from Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
    • Cinematic Storytelling book and web site
      • 6. Sound Effects 
        • 35. Realistic Sound (Dietetic) (Character)
        • 36. Realistic Sound (Dietetic) (Emotional Response)
        • 37. Expressive Sound (Dietetic) (Outer World)
        • 38. Surreal Sound (Meta-Diegetic) (Inner World)
      • 7. Music 
        • 39. Lyrics as Narrator
        • 40. Symbolic Use of Music
        • 41. Music as a Moveable Prop

Other Resources

Tools

Feedback Form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *