Seeing & Hearing
The fusion of sound and the visual elements in video
creates an end product "greater than the sum" of each individual
segment. It is a natural result of how sight and sound are "hardwired"
in any human being - using two senses creates a much larger "data
pool" of information for processing and results in a much more
natural perceptive experience for the viewer. In short, it mimics
but deceptively if artfully.
Any video experience plays with perception - the whispered
conspiracy, clearly audible, with background noise - but the background
noise is a roaring rage of sound in the real world. Why does it work
- because perception is deceived into placing the whisper [essential
information for the story line] in the forefront. We perceive it as
"real" because the background is "tuned" out and
attention is focused on the dialog - the "reel" world uses
these perceptive traits to create a visual experience which focuses
on story and plot.
Music, so pervasive in the reel world has a special
place and many functions - necessary additions to the data pool of
information. Unlike real life, animation and film create a self contained
world to which we enter with no prior information. The successful
visual experience is one which creates an easy entry into that world
- its history, its emotions, its place and time - and music is the
framework for this "easy entry". It helps tell the story
Sound [efx & foley] makes the visual come alive
- it completes the perception of reality. In animation, this imparts
the environment and characters with a sense of substance and depth
not possible with a silent presentation. It provides necessary focus
on story and plot - the background noise of human experience. Music
helps us navigate that world in time, space, emotion, and experience
- it provides a clarification for the viewer, providing and/or augmenting
the human experience.
The "How" of Music
Sets the tone and style of the film, giving the viewer
a start at perceiving the reel world about to unfold. It helps to
set the defining perception of the experience - is it heroic or a
light comedy; tragic or bittersweet; a tale of the West or of a galaxy
- long ago and far away.
Provides a sense of place and time - the bar scene
with a swing band of the 1930s or a heavy metal band of the 1970s;
a church with gospel music or gregorian chant; the folk music of 1865
or the folk rock of 1965.
These help define the emotional associations with
people and things - the evil sorcerer and the noble prince; the memories
of a long ago place and the battle fought there; the con man and the
Parallels the "action" and defines the current
emotional experience of the characters to the visuals - the car chase;
the happy child at play; the bitter memory.
It also helps define the passage of time, effectively
smoothing the visual time expansion or contraction as well as scene
transitions - the passage of days, months, or years with reel time
in minutes; the seconds of horror depicted in slow motion; the hard
cut to the next story element.
Brings emphasis and focus to defining elements in
the visual - the fatal shot; the fateful decision; the wrong turn.
Music and sound in any visual medium - film, video,
animation, commercials - is not a separate entity but a necessary
part of the presentation. It creates a "reel" world experience
providing the clarifying, augmenting, defining, and focusing elements
required for a "real" world perception.