We've all been in a situation where we remember a film based on the soundtrack. The importance of sound effects and memorable soundtracks is hard to overstate.
The Significance of Sound in Movies
Think about your favourite movie, did the music or soundtrack make you love it even more? Music has a profound emotional effect on us, and when it’s connected to a beautiful story and visuals it can be even more powerful. The importance of sound in film really can’t be overstated.
Sound is a fundamental part of movie making
There are three main types of sound in movies: voices/talking, sound effects and music. Let’s take a look at each sound type in more detail now;
Human voices in a film are, of course, the talking or dialogue that the actors are saying. Whether it’s a film with actors talking or an animated film with human voices, the dialogue is important because it helps us understand what the actors are trying to convey – language wise - and follow the story line too. Voices are recorded in film in two ways, boom operators capture voices in real time while the actors are talking, and voices can also be recorded later in a studio by a sound engineer.
The breaking of a glass, the slamming of a door, these are all sounds that occur during a film that we often take for granted. The importance of sound effects in film is that it gives realism to the film, allowing us to know what is happening without any words or sometimes even direct visuals. Sound effects enhance a movie’s visuals.
Music adds emotion to what’s going on, on screen. Whether it’s instrumental music played by an orchestra or a popular song, music has a profound emotional effect on the viewer and is meant to heighten what is going on in the characters’ lives and in the story line.
When it comes to the importance of sound design in film, a sound designer or team has to take into account all three of the sound types as part of their work. Many people don’t realise how intricate sound design is; so intricate in fact that it has its own award categories at all the major awards ceremonies.
The History of Sound Changes
Before the early 1920’s, movies were silent. When sound and film intersected, directors were able to capture the sound of actors talking, but it was incredibly static in the beginning because they were reliant on a static microphone to record the sound. This meant that directors had to start getting inventive in terms of camera movements and sound.
Sound effects become more prevalent as movies go on
Sound effects after the 1950’s began to take on a more detailed form including the types of sounds we mentioned earlier including voices, effects and music. From then until now, the importance of sound in film has gone through evolutionary changes, bringing it into the specialised genre of film that it is today.
Understanding Movie Soundtracks
According to Wikipedia, a soundtrack is music that has been recorded to synchronise with an image like in a movie, a TV program, or a video game. The Importance of sound in video production and in film, is that it is created or designed to give more depth and detail. It helps us, the viewer become more immersed in what is going on in the story line and characters’ lives; we connect emotionally to what’s going on.
At Ster Kinekor, we fully appreciate the importance of sound when it comes to the entire movie experience. That’s why every Ster Kinekor cinema boasts state-of-the-art cinema sound technology which includes 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems in every theatre.
Now that you understand a bit more about the significance of sound in movies, you’ll be able to take more notice of the sounds going on in the next film you watch. What are they saying, what effects can you hear and what soundtrack is playing?
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Why is sound important in a film?
Sound helps us connect to what is going on in the film. Voices and language help us understand the dialogue and what words the actors are saying. Sound effects give us insight into what we might be seeing on screen or off screen without needing words. The music in a film helps to evoke emotions in us.
What does sound do in movies?
Sound links us to what is going on in the story. It helps us understand the characters, what’s going on and how we are feeling while watching.
What is the most important sound in film?
Sound in film takes place in three ways - voices, effects and music. All three sound types are really important to the sound design of the film, without one of these, the film would be noticeably missing something.