SoundWorks Collection: Prometheus


So you were amazed, or sadly disappointed. You hungered for a more full ending, or you felt satisfied with what you were served. You counted plot-hole after after plot-hole, or you simply sank into the depths of the story. By now, you’ve probably seen one of the most anticipated sci-fy thrillers of the summer, and you either loved or were displeased with your taste of the somewhat successful prequel to the Alien franchise…but atlas you were able to make that decision without a single distraction.

The key to good sound, whether it be film, television, game, online, mobile; action, thriller, documentary, animation, drama, horror; reality, fiction, or nonfiction; is that you help further convey the story in-depth at hand without becoming the center attention. Make no mistake, it’s to easy to draw the attention away from the visuals depicted and towards an unwanted focus to something that doesn’t sound so delighting. Have you ever watched a television show and notice the show’s volume seems to low for you to understand, or to loud to hear? Now image crafting an entire world of fictional sounds and it’s your job not to place anything to out of the ordinary as to distract the viewer. Oh and by the way, the land is completely fiction filled with argon dust sand storms, air pressure locked doors, screeching alien yells, and a delegate android vocal performance. What does that sound like in real life?

During the opening credits of Prometheus, and any film, you will discover the names of the writer, production designer, the director of cinematography, the producers, directors, lead actors, even the initial creators. The list goes on. You will never see a single sound credit in the opening credits besides the creator of the music score. You wont see “mixed by” or “Production Sound Mixer” followed by name. You wont see the “re-recording mixer” or “supervising sound editor” followed by name. you have to wait for the credits to roll and by then your in parking lot pulling apart the plot deciding if this was a good movie. This would seem unfair considering that most would regard the any audio profession apart of the film world the most important.

If you ever meet any professional in the film industry, they will tell you that sound is 50 percent of the film. You can’t watch a good movie without good sound. Even though each department is given an equal share of weight as far as carrying their load for the production, very little credit and light is shared on the creativity behind what good sound is, the difficulty in recording and editing, as well as the conscious choices and emotion effects composed for the soundtrack.  This idea is what started the Soundworks Collection.

I’ve seen Prometheus twice, once on the opening friday and and the following tuesday. I can tell you that I did’t notice so much about the plot-holes until I read them in a blog online. I didn’t think about whether the ending served me, or the questions brought up in the film, because I was so immersed into the world by the sound, and the directors choices in the ascetics of the world he created.  I believed every step of the journey in this movie. The sound in this film made the world 100 percent authentic to the point where I felt I didn’t need to question whether I was on moon LV-223, it seemed all too real. That is the point of going to the movies, to escape reality. Regardless of what I expected or whether I liked what I received, I would revisit this world anytime again because it was exotic and it literally transported me away for 2 hours.  That’s the point of good design, story telling, and the use of sound as a reinforcement to the story, to transport you to another world without you asking questions or even taking notice.

Meet the people who created this auditory world. Dive into the reason behind their auditory choices for matching Ridley’s vision, and thank them for allowing you to have an opinion. If the movie wasn’t good, and the sound wasn’t believable,  we wouldn’t be debating over everything else that happened in this story, you would be trashing the technical malfunctions of the film.

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