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Working with Film Sound


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Tutors: Dr Bartek Dziadosz, Dr Lily Ford
  • Assessment: a 2000-word essay (40%) and 5-10-minute practical film-making exercise (40%) with a 1000-word critical reflection (20%)

Module description

In this module we combine study of key aspects of the filmmaking process with hands-on practical projects. You will study the history of film sound technology and of the professional roles and working methods of sound engineers and sound designers. You will explore some of the key stylistic decisions and technical choices that have influenced the evolution of film sound, and analyse film examples in class and write about them.

You then prepare a short film or film sequence directly related to the historical and theoretical elements covered in the seminars.

Indicative syllabus

  • Technological evolution of film sound from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day
  • Film analysis related to technological and stylistic aspects
  • Practical understanding of the workings of contemporary film sound equipment
  • Practical exercises involving direct sound and post-synched sound
  • Practical experiments with music, voice, effects

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand the key developments in the history of film technology, principally how it has affected film sound
  • appreciate the evolution of the working lives of film people, principally sound engineers and sound designers
  • understand the key stylistic and technical aspects of film sound through the analysis of specific films and film sequences
  • engage in close critical reading of key films and relate this to the evolution of film technology and of working practices in the film industry
  • apply the theoretical and historical content of the seminars to practical work
  • learn new practical skills in using film sound and strengthen existing knowledge.