You know what the craziest thing about this video was? I literally had to go back and watch it like three times in order to pay close attention to the sound in the background. BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT INCREDIBLE.
The sounds took me on this adventure so many times that I forgot that there weren’t violins playing in the background of the Radiolab meeting. I forgot that upbeat music doesn’t just start playing when people are in a happy moment. I forgot that it wasn’t real life. And I forgot it three freaking times.
Anyway, once I started to pay close attention to what I was hearing, I started to get a better grasp on what the sounds were doing for me as an audience member. The different musical tones both influenced and mirrored my feelings about what I was seeing on the screen. I felt happy when the staff was laughing together, and the happy music not only increased my happiness, but helped me to realize that I was happy in the first place.
I love that they left in the parts where Jad and Robert were talking over each other. When I first heard it, I thought that might have been something that they would have taken out, because it sounds a little sloppy. But the more that I thought about it, the more that I realized how much that overlapping sound said about Jad and Robert, you know, the kind of people who they were. They were both so excited to start talking. They are enthusiastic about the message that they are delivering. They feel comfortable enough with each other that they don’t feel the need to pause and look at the other person to see if he would like to go first. It was so real.
That’s what I want to go for in my own audio documentary. I want it to be real. But not in the sense that I just leave in every part of my day, not editing anything. In the sense that the sounds really tell my audience something about me. If I’m talking to my professor and I seem nervous because I’m asking about a grade, then I want that nervousness to come through…and that may mean keeping a few “likes” and “ums” in there. I also want to demonstrate my relationships with different people, based on the tones of our voices, the sounds around us, and so on. Are we running to the bus stop, so you can hear our breath quicken? Are we going out to the bar, so you can hear the glasses clinking?
Just some thoughts.