Before this editing project, we actually had a group project that is about parallel storytelling and the point of view. We were also given scenarios to chose from and we were suppose to decide on how we could run the sequences in order to fit the genre or story that we are trying to tell.
So, my group has chosen a comedy genre and the scene we have chosen is about an employee rehearsing how she will ask for a raise and another scene where two managers are discussing how they will fire her.
Research and Processes
By looking at some old cartoons including some Mickey Mouse old short films, I have realised they do use alot of sound effects especially when Mickey fell down from the stairs, the wind blowing. However, despite that this film was meant to be how this mad doctor is kidnapping Mickey’s dog and planning to experiment on him, the sound effect of this short film has helped to liven up the tone to become slightly less scary and more whimsical and comical.
Technical Process of Sound through Audacity
It is through Audacity that I managed to record my own gulp into the video. I explored different ways and tones based on what I have recorded through the tools displayed in Audacity but mostly on the Reverb and Equalization.
I realised that the use of Reverb function helps to either expand or decrease the size of the room which then makes my voice to sound as if it is from a distance as shown in version two. I noticed how the different distance could affect the level of my voice because for version 2, I employed the larger room size technique. However, for version 1, I made the room size smaller so that you could hear my voice much clearer and the emphasis of my gulp can be heard in the video. Not only that, I also played with the Equalization function that could make my voice sound different.
Gulp by Audrelia Lim
Curious Funny Comedy Music by The Crazy Venezolano Soundtrack
In the case of Curious Funny Comedy Music, I used the function of Equalisation to make it sound as if it is coming from a telephone. And just like how I was being influenced by the old cartoon, I employed a similar technique that could reflect the atmosphere of a sense of cheeky comedy towards the scene. Unlike the original which is much clearer, my take on this music seems to resemble the kind of atmosphere which you can find in an old cartoon just like “Dennis the Menace.”
When one listens to the music in the background, it takes on a more light hearted approach, however, the sound may not be that clear and loud enough which could actually help further dramatize the impact of the characters in each scene. It is the type of sound they used that matches the scene of the characters. For example, when the dog starts to slip across the floor from 12:52 to 12:53, it not only creates an effect of how the dog is going to crash onto something but the sound frequency that seem to be more imbalanced blends very well into the scene and making it more comedic.
Exploring Comedy through Visual forms
Though this project is mostly playing with sound, I have tried other ways in exploring comedy. The sounds that I have used is mostly dramatic and it is also suitable for a typical and cheesy type of comedy. American comedy television series including “How I Met Your Mother”, “Two And A Half Men,” mostly played with dialogues from the characters and the laughter in the background is just to enhance the comedic effect that brings out from the characters towards the scene.
However, these shows are just television series and how the characters are portrayed does not seem to have a strong impact towards the viewers as the angles portrayed are on the same frame. Thus, this makes the whole series to appear” flat” and have a lack of cinematic appeal towards the viewers. Viewers are unable to draw themselves towards each scene of the characters and they could not feel the comedic effect happening in each scene.
Visual Comedy and reference artist/director
Edgar Wright, a director and master of films that mostly deal with visual comedy including “Spaced”, “Hot Fuzz,” and “Scoot Pilgrim vs. The World.” He seem to have played a lot with the camera angles and how each scene or character should be framed in each scene. He has also played with the transitions of scenes that involves on how the character enters or leaves the scene. The comedic effect does not just come with how he played with the camera angles but also the expression of the characters that could help enhance the scene to become even more funny. The use of visual comedy acts as a support for the scene but it also plays a significant role in bringing out the sense of humor in the scene and the characters.
For example, in this video from the movie “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” there is a lot of exploration in visual comedy. From 4:12 to 4:19, Wright played with the transitions of the characters in this case of Scott, he is leaving the scene, however, he only left when the other character said that he had left. Furthermore, the act of showing Scott leaving by jumping out of the window shows a more comedic effect instead of just showing him running away and hiding which may seem very boring and predictable, making it less interesting to watch.
Wright has also played with the sound from 5:23 to 5:36. When Scott was preparing to go into the battle, the music started off as tense from 5:23 to 5:31, then it stopped as Scott was tying his shoelaces from 5:32 to 5:36. The silence brings out the sense of comedy because of the irony from how he was supposed to be very tough and getting ready for the battle to a more careful and delicate person when tying his shoelace. This sound is also influenced in my video as when Anna talks about how she thinks she is very good and contributes a lot to the company, there seem to be angels that surround her and have voices that echoes around her depicting her as a “goddess.” However, it stopped when she started to demand for a pay. This act of silence was to bring out a comedic effect as there is a sense of irony being played in that scene from a very “holistic” person to a very demanding employee who is very greedy as she asks for a pay raise.
In terms of camera angles, Wright has used quite a lot of dramatic close ups of the characters. This makes the scene much funnier as in combination with the expression of the characters and how they are viewed as very close, allows the audience to focus their attention towards the characters’ expression and the comedic effect in the scene. For example, from 4:27 to 4:35, the camera seem to be zooming in towards the lady who is charging towards Scott and making us as viewers to feel that she is also charging towards us. Then, from 4:35 to 4:36, he revealed how the character looks like by zooming in to her face and the words she said has reflected her facial expression that she is angry but in a less serious manner. Moving on to 4:37 shows Scott’s reaction after he heard what she said, he seem scared as he does not know what she will do to him. The close up on his expression makes the scene more dramatic and enhance it’s sense of humor.
Easy Stroll by Jay Man
Dun Dun Dun Brass Music Sound Clip from Orange Free Sound
Curious Funny Comedy Music by The Crazy Venezolano Soundtrack
Gulping sound by Audrelia
Hallelujah Sound Clip from Orange Free Sound
For the sounds, I was thinking more of a light-heart and cheery tone in order to express the comedic type of genre and feeling in this video. Thus, when I think about the tone I wanted to portray, I would think of old cartoons including Loony Tunes, Dennis the Menace and other old cartoons from the 1990s.
I notice how old cartoons would portray sounds that could create an impact between the character and the objects. For example, the sound of falling down the stairs and the act of slipping across the floor , helps create a certain comedic impact towards the viewers on how such interaction with objects and the emphasis of sound between them can draw their attention and linking it towards the characters in the scene,making the scene appear more funny.
I feel that sound does play a significant role so that audience would know how they should be feeling in that particular scene. Some sounds including non-digetic does play a significant role in my video because my characters do not deal with a,lot of objects and to set the mood of the video, I had to deal with non-digetic sounds that could help liven up the atmosphere in this short film. Although, I could have used Audacity to record my own voice for the gulp because I thought my character’s feeling of being scared could be further emphasized. Audacity has allowed me to learn how the use of ordinary objects can be turned into the ones which we usually hear in the movies just like how the sound of a punch can be the sound of someone stabbing on a cabbage. It is the function of such tools including Reverb, Equalization that makes the sound changes and lead us into the illusion that that could be the sound heard in the movie when it is actually something else.
However, it is not just the sounds that contribute towards the story, it is also the how the characters portray themselves and match along with the sound in the background, bringing out the impact towards the viewers.