Although most people think of filmmaking as a purely visual craft, any cinematographer will tell you that creating beautiful images is only one part of the job. In fact, legendary director, David lynch once remarked that,
…“films are 50 percent visual and 50 percent sound. Sometimes sound even overplays the visual.”
As storytellers, we take sound seriously because it breathes life into the images we capture. There is no question that there is something magical about the combination of sound and moving images. Aristotle said that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and indeed this is the case with cinema. Independently, sound and images are beautiful but when they are united they stir our emotions in a unique way.
We recently had the opportunity to work for Braestone: a country estate development located an hour north of Toronto, Ontario within the beautiful Horseshoe Valley of Oro-Medonte. The Braestone property is absolutely breathtaking. After exploring it, we knew that sound would be integral to capturing its peaceful charm. The beauty of the property is not just about what you see it is also about what you hear. For instance, as we walked through the red pine forest we were struck by the way the trees towered on all sides of us and by the way the sun cast shadows on the forest floor; but at the same time, we were mesmerized by the sound of creaking limbs and the wind whistling through the branches.
We knew that sound was important for this project, however, recording all these noises while filming was not ideal. Whether it is the noise of production equipment, a crew member shuffling, or a plane flying overhead, the sound is often polluted. For this reason, we did field recordings to capture all the ambient noises that we would need to accompany our images. The concept of field recording is to capture studio quality audio outside. In filmmaking this is called foley – the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are aded to film in post-production to enhance the audio quality. This type of recording is a bit like a scavenger hunt in that you have to explore the great outdoors and collect all the right noises (wind, rivers, footsteps, birds, etc). As you can imagine, finding the perfect sound can be difficult but it is very rewarding when you get to hear the final results.
At the end of the day we were really pleased with how the final product turned out!