007 Sound Design

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For this prompt, I chose the trailer for the movie "Skyfall." This film was recently nominated for an academy award in sound design and it definitely earned that honor. I feel that this movie trailer exemplifies the importance of sound design in advertisement and movie trailers as a genre. Since the filmmakers have only a couple of minutes to sell you a two hour experience, they have to create anxiety, tension and suspense very quickly in this trailer. They rely heavily on their sound effort to give the abbreviated story some context and emotional impact.
Dialogue is used heavily in this trailer to give a sense of the type of events to come in the film. They don't want to give too much away, but they want the viewer to be intrigued. When "M" says, "you both know what's at stake here, take the bloody shot!" it establishes that time is of the essence and something important is happening. The next set of dialogue is the explanation of the basic premise of the movie, that a computer has been hacked into that has the names of all of the secret agents, and they've begun releasing them one by one. The choice for them to have that revelation narrated was very intentional, as this seemed to be the most effective way to quickly get that information to viewers.
Most of the sound effects in this clip are nonliteral, they are used primarily to establish a sense of urgency and suspense. All of the staccato chords hit in rhythm with the events on the screen and eventually build up to the suspenseful crescendo in the scene. These sound effects have an inner orientation function of establishing the mood of the film. As a trailer, they have an even larger responsibility to portray the overall mood of the film in the short period of time. Since the movie hits a suspenseful climax in the same way that the sound effects on this clip crescendo, they have obviously done a great job of recreating the energy of the film. The brief intermittent silence is used to intensify the inner orientation experience.
A few of the sound effects in this clip are literal and serve the function of outer orientation. The helicopter whirring, for example, gives us more information about the helicopter in flight and thus the surrounding environment. The various clicks of the guns throughout the trailer also remind the viewer of the environment that the characters are in, as well as the situation they've found themselves in. At the tail end of the clip, the literal sound effect of Bond lifting his pistol and taking a shot characterizes him. Without the actual gunshot sound, we wouldn't believe that he shot the gun, but we now know that Bond is the kind of guy who takes his shot and does not hesitate. He is a secret agent with a license to kill and the ending sound effect makes it apparent that he'll be using that privilege.

3 Comments

I agree with you that sound effect here have created the energy of this film. As an action movie, the sound effect in here is very powerful. You also can tell that 007 is back through the sound choice. Without good sound design, the movie can not impress audience no matter how well the story or content is. This is a trailer, the purpose of trailer is convincing people to go to see the full version at movie theater. The directors only has few minutes to do it, so they need to make a good sound effect to impress audience (It is difficult because trailer is made by putting different shot together.) In this trailer, the sound effect is excellent because its rhythm is followed by the time% motion. The background sound becomes intensive while there is a fighting motion. However, the background sound changes to soft while the fighting scene over.
I kind want to see this movie again now. Thank you for posting this video.

After seeing the movie only recently, I feel as though the sound structure of the film really made it a complete package. Whether it be Adele's opening serenade or the fast, panicked writings for the chase scene, the sound brought the right mood to this film as opposed to the generic James Bond sound track. It engaged the viewer as well as anyone would simply be overhearing the soundtrack. Great Selection!

What I was impressed most by the sound design in this trailer was how well everything blended together. Obviously in the movie the effects aren't quite as compact, but even here they meld and overlap and aren't choppy at all. I agree that they certainly help to establish energy at certain moments in the film and helpfully set the tone for where the scene is going.

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This page contains a single entry by kane0309 published on February 11, 2013 10:23 PM.

Prompt #4: Sound was the previous entry in this blog.

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