The project is in full swing, still the struggle goes on with finding actors but I have faith in both Caroline, me and the script. Another factor that is proving a little difficult or more so tedious is blogging. In past projects has played a vital part within my projects, taking the reigns on this film however has proven to not work in this way. Not only this I have a module (Moving Narrative) that is getting closer and closer as the days go on. Although this is so it still needs to be done, therefore I have tried to take a couple of hours out of my day to blog/research into my film, in hope I can get the best result possible.
For now however I wish to look at sound design, more importantly the Sound of the Beast.
For those who are still unaware of my script William stumbles on, or is more faced with an unwanted, uninvited visitor at his home. He doesn’t know what it is, why it’s there or what it wants. All he know’s is that it’s not from anything born on earth. From now on I will address the beast as The Entity.
When coming to the idea for the film I knew that The Entity would be heard and not seen, this was down to a number of reasons.
Budget wise it would be difficult to create anything from scratch, as well as this I don’t want people blowing raspberry’s at it for looking ‘not scary’ , therefore I knew I had to try to devise a plan of creating The Entity through other means, this would be through sound.
I strongly believe that with a lot of horror (especially classic) it’s proven that the human fears what he can’t see, what is lurking in the shadows at night. I am not against the revealing of a monster as I feel it has been done excellently in previous films, but for this type of film, in regards to the setting and mood, it wouldn’t work. Sound would be the structure of The Entity.
(A reveal that works too my mind)
As well as this my third major film will carry on with similar themes, so I understand that this is a perfect time to practice creating something solely through sound. Well that’s all well and good, but one question remains. What sound?
It was hard when trying to hear The Entity in my head, I had a rough idea on what I wanted but nothing to contrast and compare, I had to undertake some research. Looking back at the monster greats!
Xenomorph – Alien
When talking about monsters with a sound that sends an instant chill down the spine of audiences you have to mention the Xenomorph, the tag line ‘In Space No One Can Hear You Scream’ was put to the test as audiences scream at the sight & sound of these hideous monsters. Although visually these creatures can strike fear it’s in their sound that I feel they hit true fear. When ddescribing the Xenomorph I tend to use words such as hisses or screeches. The similarities to a cat are clear to hear, it’s in this that I find inspiration.
For The Entity I really wanted a sound of a beast, an animal. Something that was primal and raw, with these characteristics it would stand out from the norms of a single state that is devoid of any true emotion. I do not find complete inspiration in this sound, the high frequencies are spot on, but for The Entity I envisioned a little bit more bass. For that I would have to look somewhere else.
Xenomporph = High Frequency.
Alligator – Life
It took me a while to try to find a sound from a monster that held a bass while keeping the sound of a growl, so instead of looking at film monsters I decided to look at monsters that live among us. The Alligator provided the perfect sound, it maintained a heavy bass sound while adding a growl over the top. In doing this it could really give The Entity a reptilian feel. Looking at the quality of low frequency the Alligator gives, I feel it would create the sense of magnitude for The Entity, a sense of it being gigantic and colossal
Alligator = Bass & Growl
Predator – Predator
Parasite – Cloverfield
The reasoning behind placing these two monsters within the same category is down to the slight details they both hold within their sound. Not interested in the ‘bulk’ of their vocal range it’s the small details. For The Entity however I feel there is a happy medium between the both of them. For the Predator I am talking about the small clicks in the vocals, they seem to reverb and echo, leaving behind a sense of existing, knowing it’s there but ever so slightly. With the parasite it’s the same sound but here the Parasite sounds a lot more viscous, a little more aggressive. It would be good to go from Predator to Parasite, as The Entity becomes more forceful I can up the sound.
Parasite/Predator = Small details
The Thing – The Thing from Another World
(The Thing, 1982)
The Thing from Another World seems to be the total package when coming to sound, when researching it seemed to be the closest sound overall that I was looking for. However through my research I would try to create something of my own, instead of simply mimicking it. However that doesn’t mean such a sound can’t be used to compare/contrast against.
With the inspirations I have found I now feel a little clearer on what type of thing I am looking for, with each aspect looked I can now try to recreate these amazing sounds, in hope creating a sound effect that will equally terrify audiences.
Xenomorph – High
Alligator – Low
Predator/Parasite – Details/Clicks
Alien. (1979). [film] USA: Ridley Scott.
Cloverfield. (2008). [film] USA: Matt Reeves.
Predator. (1987). [film] USA: John MicTiernan.
Signs. (2002). [film] USA: M. Night Shyamalan.
The Thing. (1982). [film] USA: John Carpenter.