Filmmaking Day 2 : Sound and Scriptwriting

It was very interesting. Again.

Things I didn’t know before today:

When a film gets recorded they want to record as little background sound as possible. This means that they will do everything to get rid of as much background noise as possible. Imagine Lawrence stirring in his tea cup in the Cafe in The Girl In The Cafe. They had probably taped the inside of the cup with tape, to get rid of the noise of spoon against cup. All sound except the actors talking gets added afterwards in the sound recording studio, and this includes everything from opening doors to stirring in tea cup. And all sound gets recorded Mono. Quite incredible eh.

Scripts have to be written in 12 point Courier and nothing else than that. If you decide to go against it, trying to be original, well don’t. Your script won’t get read if not in 12 point Courier. (Weird rule but that’s how it is)

Richard Curtis had to rewrite/rewrote the script for Four Weddings & a Funeral 34 times. 34 times ! And this is Richard Curtis we are talking about. That is kind of scary, because he is one of the good ones.

I always thought that Focus Puller sounded like a pretty funky job title. But now I know what they actually do. They measure the distance between the camera and the eyes of the actor who is going to be in focus (or any other thing that is going to get main focus) in the shot they are going to make. The line measuring it is connect to the camera and “pulled” to the actor. I think I can cross this one of my list dreamjobs in film too.

Working as a Boom Operator (holding the mike when filming, and trying not to get the mike in view) is one of the easiest ways into the film industry. If you are good you can probably get fulltime work after a year of education. (A year to learn how to hold a mike, incredible). This sounds interesting, but chances to move away from the sound department into other functions are zero, you have to re educate yourself in order to move on. Sound work is not my thing though.

Apart from all that – our teachers today were a man who has worked on all Monty Python films (he had some good stories to tell) and a completely crazy (the good way) Irish writer who learned us a bit about scriptwriting.

Having a weblog proved it’s value. All the long nonsense posts about pirates and Slartibartfast and other ridicilous groovy things have definetely improved my creativity. And when we had to write a story, an A4 full having to use 3 given keywords (spaceship, podium and table) in 15 minutes, I had no problems whatsoever rambling something down, while some others were struggling to get anything at all on paper. I am not saying it was good, the stuff I wrote, but I could write under pressure. That was good.

And while writing all this I am watching Lost in Translation, and I am lost. Again. Like a soap bubble.

3 thoughts to “Filmmaking Day 2 : Sound and Scriptwriting”

  1. I love movies too. Here is a link about Sound: It is an interview with Tarkovki’s sound engineer. Did you ever see a movie by Tarkovski? My favourite is ‘Stalker’. My favourite scriptwriter is Jean Claude Carriere. He worked for Luis Bunuel in ‘Le Charme Discret de la Bourgoisie’ and also wrote the scripts for ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ and ‘The French Connection’. He has a lot of interesting things to say about how to write scripts. There has been a documentary about his work on dutch TV some years ago. I remember one quote: The most mysterious part of scriptwriting is ‘the interesting’. The interesting is hard to describe, but we know that if something has meaning for us, it will also have meaning for others.

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