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Thread: Not so silent movie

  1. #1
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    Default Not so silent movie

    Just as an experiment, I took the first 01:37 of an old circa 1927 Buster Keaton silent movie, "The General" and added ambient sounds and effects to the opening sequence of a locomotive pulling into a town.



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    The sound perspective on the cut from the very long-shot to the closer at 1.06 worked really well, as was the timing with the whistle. I feel that there should have been a slight raising of volume on the cut at 1.28 and some other sounds, railway-station noises or general ambient, added for the last shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    The sound perspective on the cut from the very long-shot to the closer at 1.06 worked really well, as was the timing with the whistle. I feel that there should have been a slight raising of volume on the cut at 1.28 and some other sounds, railway-station noises or general ambient, added for the last shot.
    Quite right, it also needs sound of engineer and fireman's footsteps coming off the engine and some station background walla. Thanks for the feedback.

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    So what are you planning Digger, Are you thinking of over dubbing the whole movie ? Or are you testing for working on a new project ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    So what are you planning Digger, Are you thinking of over dubbing the whole movie ? Or are you testing for working on a new project ?
    Well, as ambitious as it may sound, I'm considering taking that complete silent movie and give it a full ambient sounds and FX sound track, with every sound EXCEPT dialog. Then add an emotive music score (not the ragtime piano music commonly associated with viewing silent films).
    It would require obtaining a s tload of effects, including such things as the sound of an old handcar, but I think is is do-able, as a long-term project. Would people today even watch it? I have no idea. This would certainly be an art-form, if done well.
    Perhaps I am nuts for even contemplating such?

  6. #6

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    Nuts ? I think we're all a bit nuts in this game but it's that creative type of nuts, the sort that makes us stand out from the rest of the hum drum.

    Long live the nutty people.

    Good luck with the project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Nuts ? I think we're all a bit nuts in this game but it's that creative type of nuts, the sort that makes us stand out from the rest of the hum drum.
    Long live the nutty people.
    Good luck with the project.
    I just ordered a portable digital recorder to begin collecting different ambient backgrounds.



    This is so neat. Back in my broadcasting days we had to do this kind of work with condenser mikes on cords and hooked to bulky reel-to-reel recorders. This little device is neat.

    WHY COULDN'T WE HAVE NEAT TOYS LIKE THIS WHEN WE WERE GROWING UP!

    (Of course, some of us have never grown up!)

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    It's funny you should be doing this as I've only recently finished working on a silent B&W film which does involve the standard rag-time piano. I produced (and, stretchig a term, "starred") in it. It's a club film which we produced specifically to fill a need for "fiction" for forthcoming competitions, so I can't post it here yet.

    Apart from the afoementioned piano, we've put on a few FX which are intentionally non-authentic - as one might imagine a sound effects man sitting in the orchestra pit "dubbing" SFX live.

    So, when you've finished with Keaton, you might like to have a go at this one - although as it takes place in and around the main character's house there's not a lot of sound to go on.

    On another note, is it the H4n you've gone for - or was the picture just a "serving suggestion"? As you know I'm a fan of the H2, but a fellow member recently bought a H4n and he's knocked out with it. I find it feels more up to the job too. And the XLRs would go nicely with the ME66/K6 I can't afford.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    On another note, is it the H4n you've gone for - or was the picture just a "serving suggestion"? As you know I'm a fan of the H2, but a fellow member recently bought a H4n and he's knocked out with it. I find it feels more up to the job too. And the XLRs would go nicely with the ME66/K6 I can't afford.
    I've ordered the H4n puppy and the full kit shown in the image. I probably will not use the 4-channel sound anytime soon (I can barely handle getting 2 right)

    In regards to over-dubbing the movie, I thought it would be neat if the audience heard everything including birds singing, clothes ruffling, footsteps, gates creaking...everything EXCEPT one single voice. For two reasons: I want it to remain a "silent" movie in respect to the actors to preserve the essence of a silent film, and also out of respect, because every actor in the film has passed on. Assuming my sanity and budget survives to finally completing the sound and effects tracks, the plan is to get the movie scored and use the music to provide aural emotional cues (something on the order of "Glory" with humorous overtones, where required). I think the combination of both, if done well, will make for a unique viewing experience.

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    Bloody hell Digger!

    That's one hell of a task you've taken on. It sounds fascinating and I really hope that you achieve your goal.

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