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The Ultimate Sound Technician

November 6, 2013 by   


Justin Boyd: Sound and Time from Walley Films on Vimeo.

Since we will soon be having a discussion about sound and how we as storytellers can use it in dramatic ways, I thought that this documentary short was really interesting. This guy uses sound in ways that most of us haven’t even thought of! Cheesy enough, it’s true. This video is also just very beautifully captured, so that adds to the awe-inspiring way that this character is enthralled with sound. What works for me in this piece is the combination between sound design and the amount of matched-action sequences in this video.

The scene where Justin goes to collect audio at the train tracks is one scene that really stood out for me, due to the combination of attention-getting tracking shot as he walks up to the tracks, action shot of him putting the recording strip on the tracks, and then the reaction shot of his face and hands with the recording device. To me, it really worked to bring me into the action of this guy actually going out and recording such a large amount of audio to archive. I also really like the scene of Justin inside (with beautiful lighting) where he is going through old recordings. The scene begins with a dolly shot moving across the bucket of tapes as he chooses one to listen to. The sequences goes into another great sequence of matched action editing while Justin puts in a recording he made of his grandfather and then cuts to a cinematic camera movement of a “sweeping across the floor” to the character as he listens intently to this recording of his grandfather. To me, that is a powerful moment that was captured and expressed.

1 Comment »

  1. says:

    What I often enjoy about shooting is the process of just going out and looking, but what I appreciate about this video is that it shows that process with the focus being on sound. The exploration of a space not focused on the visual but on the sounds that are coming from the visual. That exploratory process focused on listening seems like it’s an important one to do alongside looking.

    One thing that also comes across in this piece is giving yourself the space to experiment with recording without a straightforward direction. Maybe he knows he is recording these sounds to use in a specific project, but I imagined him just out wandering around with his microphones for the fun of it. I really wanna remember to do that. I used to do it more when I first started doing film and video, but now it feels like most shooting is done in the context of a specific project. There was awhile where I brought it back because I was using flip cameras a lot. That was really fun! To just have a simple camera with you and be able to whip it out easily and shoot felt freeing.

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