Essential Elements of Film Sound 1
Name of lecturer(s)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
This course is a general overview of the essential basic elements of film sound from the filmmaker's perspective, meaning we will investigate and discuss topics mainly from the viewpoint of how sounds are used in film and why. From theory through practical application, all aspects and functions of sound in film will be examined.
Students should emerge from this course with a basic understanding of how to conceptualise, prepare and create sound for a film from script through production and post-production.
Mode of study
Four lectures per semester with extensive use of short film clips to illustrate all points.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
Introduction and discussion of basic film sound concepts, properties and aesthetics of sound, and theory and elements of the film soundtrack.
Discussion of actual film production process at FAMU.
The voice in cinema: theory and many possible uses of dialogue and narration/voiceover.
Tasks and responsibilities of the location sound recordist; basics of foley making and gathering; basics of editing and sound design; working with music (and composers) part 1.
Uses of media and devices such as telephone, radio, TV, computer; using specific locations for their sound; advanced foley.
Working with voice and dialogue part 2; working with music (and composers) part 2.
Critical review of first semester films from sound perspective.
Advanced editing and sound design.
Mixing and mastering film soundtracks.
Many clips will be shown from a broad variety of source films, across the spectrum from classic mainstream Hollywood and international films to more obscure avant-garde and experimental films.
Recommended or required reading
Altman, Rick. Sound Theory, Sound Practice. New York: Routledge, 1992.
Chion, Michel. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York:Columbia University Press, 1994.
Chion, Michel. The Voice in Cinema. New York:Columbia University Press, 1999.
[and any other book by Chion]
Assessment methods and criteria
Short written test at the end of each semester.
Attendance: only one absence is allowed, two absences for whatever reason result
in automatic failure.
This is a mainly non-technical course, meaning we will not discuss which microphones to use or using Pro Tools etc – that happens in my other course: Technical Sound Production and Post-production.
George Cremaschi works with a variety of approaches and strategies in the areas overlapping music, sound art and noise. In thirty years as a composer and performer he has a long and diverse history of working with musicians, filmmakers, dancers and choreographers, visual artists, and writers. Some of his current projects include the groups KRK (w/Matthew Ostrowski), Rohr Rohr (w/dieb13 and Gino Robair) and Lambs Gamble (w/Fritz Welch and Eric Boros). He is also the founder (w/Petr Vrba) and director of Prague Improvisation Orchestra (PIO), a 15-member group working with conducted and free improvisation and graphic scores.
As an improviser he has worked with many people including Liz Allbee, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Greg Goodman, Mats Gustafsson, Joelle Leandre, Thomas Lehn, Paul Lovens, Louis Moholo, Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Rova Quartet, Cecil Taylor.
As an interpreter, he has performed works by many composers including Adamčiak, Andriessen, Braxton, Cage, Cardew, Nicolas Collins, Feldman, Mingus, Oliveros, Penderecki, Tenney, Xenakis, etc and has appeared on over 40 recordings on Apestaartje, Beak Doctor, Black Saint, Emanem, Evander, Evolving Ear, Leo, Music & Arts, Nine Winds, Rastascan and other labels. Born in New York where he studied music and composition, he later lived for many years in California and currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic where he teaches film sound at FAMU.
Schedule for winter semester 2020/2021:
Room No. 3
Oct. 1, 8, 15, 29, Nov. 5, 12
Schedule for summer semester 2020/2021:
The schedule has not yet been prepared