Well, final semester of uni is here. Final semester ever. Of all time. Unless I decide to do another degree, but that's highly unlikely, and if I do honours, I will very probably take a gap year first. I'm at that point in my life where I'm tired of school and just want to get out there and make things, and write and read, and travel and work. The one thing that is going to be causing me (and a lot of other people) to have a lot of headaches this semester is a little course called Production Project 2. This course is separated into five separate streams - some people chose to create a radio documentary, others multi-media/digital media project. I'm in the class that chose to make short films. I'm also one of the few people in my class that actively chooses to undertake the role of sound recordist, so I'll probably be doing a lot of that!
In my own specific production group (we're in groups of about 3 or 4, but when it comes to getting crew on the shoot days, we all pitch in and help each other), I'm not only 'Sound Recordist', but 'Sound Designer' which is not something I've done a lot of before. I'm not too worried about it. If I ever need a hand mixing then I have people I can call on, and I'm looking forward to being challenged creatively. The biggest thing on my mind in terms of sound design right now, is music.
Our script at the moment is taking on the form of a suburban drama, with maybe a touch of black comedy thrown in. The other day in a separate class, we watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and I was enthralled with the sound. No music, just the effects of the birds, some of which was electronically manipulated. I really do like the idea of not using music at all - the absence of music may emphasise the darker, heavier moments our film may potentially have (I'm waiting for the latest draft of the script before I start doing my mark ups). I also like the idea of using music within the diegetic space - one of our characters may be listening to the radio, for example. If I this idea fails in post (it may be a horrible idea, I'll have to watch in post!) then something simple, and atmospheric is the go...but then that sounds a bit cliche to me. I must try to avoid cliche!
I've been listening to the Animal Kingdom soundtrack, to try and give myself a bit of inspiration.
And what about dialogue? The current draft of the script calls for a big dinner scene with all the members of the family gathered around the table, everyone talking, as our two main characters feel awkward and separated. Lots of overlapping conversations. I love the use of layered sounds and dialogue. Spielberg used to do it a lot in his earlier films.