A few days ago I created a post outlining the sound of the beast, more to the point the sound of The Entity within my film. I stated the kind of sound that I wanted alongside the reasons behind each decision. As my film is still in the process of being made/not being made I decided to head into the sound suite and try out some tests. Whilst in there I began to realize something, something that I didn’t take into account. The Entity has to evolve, it has to communicate. It has to evolve.
Originally I was happy with the concept of creating a sound for The Entity, I had a rough outline on how I wanted it to sound and knew it wouldn’t take that long to create, I predicted roughly two days for every scene, which in sound design terms is nothing at all. Booking the studio out I began to import all my sounds, I started getting some half decent sounds, the sounds that I described. I then realized that the sound of The Entity wasn’t just a sound, it was dialog.
As time goes on The Entity removes it’s self from the realms of Foley and ambiance and evolves into character and purpose. Coming to terms with this now has caught me of guard a little, the sounds that I originally thought of as being the sound have been deemed somewhat useless. Perhaps I was too worried about the overall sound instead of the practicality of it. The problem goes like this, with the sounds I have, I haven’t the slightest how/if I can mix vocals alongside.
So back to the drawing board, I am trying to find a new direction in which to create my Entity. The best way to do this would maybe starting at the end. In doing this I will have the finished product, then through sound design I can start manipulating that sound, e.g degrading it.
In doing this I will be able to create that sound of terror I have been looking for whilst keeping the human aspect. I have a few voices in mind. I feel that I need to try different frequencies within voice. This is why I will be looking to use both Chris and Guy as the voice, Chris for the low, Guy for the high. In doing this I have 3 possible results.
- Chris – Low frequencies to create that beast growl, e.g. Alligator
- Guy – High frequencies to create a serpent sound, e.g. Xenomorph
- Both – Creating a mixture of the both to find a uncomfortable sound
I feel confident that in doing it this way I can produce a sound that is distinct from others, that being said it wouldn’t hurt to further my research in finding some similar sounds that combine monster and voice.
The Engineer – Prometheus
Although I haven’t seen Prometheus I did have the chance to catch up on the sound design documentary, not only was it amazing the lengths the design team went to when creating a universe but it also gave me a great insight into an alien who, although didn’t talk English, it had a language of its own. What I loved about the dialect that it managed to maintain a rawness, a beast like sound. The Engineer being from an ancient time it meant this beast sound really gave it it’s time and place.
Independence Day – Locusts
(Independence Day, 1996)
The species of Locusts in Independence day may not speak English, but they do find a means to. Using a human as a connection they manage to connect through controlling of the mind, with this comes a sound that alters the speech. Although it is not heavily altered there is most defiantly something eerie and other worldly about the speech. It’s in this where I take influence.
I have tried to find some more references but for some reason my pool has run dry, however I have extensively looked at a handful of monsters and seem to understand now what I have to do. Finding the right balance of what is practical, as well as what fits the story. I can’t have a xenomorph mixed with a human, just isn’t going to work…
(Alien: Resurrection, 1997)
But finding the right balance is key!
Alien: Resurrection. (1997). [film] USA: Jean-Pierre Jeunett.
Independence Day. (1996). [film] USA: Roland Emmerich.
Prometheus. (2012). [film] USA: Ridley Scott.