After that rant about the silent film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” I figure it only makes sense to balance it out with a rant over one of my favourite animated films by Disney Pixar – Wall-E. Not only was the storyline for this film so-totally-amazing, (yes, I just did that in my uptown Beverly hills voice) the sound design for this film was damn near flawless. Wall-E holds – in my opinion – one of the most powerful stories in Pixar history and makes me stop to consider so much about technology and the way we treat the environment.
The difference between the sound Wall-E made, to the sounds of the cockroach (gross) running around and the other ambient noise, the instrumentals, the sound of the voices and how they were manipulated to match each character… can you sense my excitement from reading this blog?
Because of the excellent sound work that was done, watching Wall-E became an experience, rather than just a film. I felt as if I was on that space ship being a lazy, fat ass as those people were. I felt like i somehow needed to throw away my cellphone and pawn my laptop so I would not end up like them. That, my friends, is not just the power of great storytelling, but also due to the power of excellent, meticulous sound design.
The attention to sound detail in this film has made me more conscious of sound when filming. Not just so I can have clean, crisp dialogue, but also that I can give my viewers the type of experience that can transform their living rooms into the scenes happening before their eyes.
Sound designers, pay attention to your environment in a way you never have before. Listen to the sound of the rain pitter pattering on the roof, the steam rising from the hot asphalt as the raindrops begin to cool the roads, the sound of the wet footsteps on the pavement walking quickly to escape being drenched, the sound of the car tires meeting the wet road, the sound of the umbrellas opening to shield their owners, the sound of coats billowing in the wind. Pay attention to how the sounds we don’t normally give recognition to add to the realness of the experience. Pay attention to EVERYTHING and how it affects your mood the mood of the people around you.
If you have never seen the film Wall-E (Finding Nemo is another excellent choice where sound design is concerned) go ahead and Netflix, buy the dvd (or blu-ray), stream or whatever other activities you must do to get this film in your possession. To my future filmmakers, you will not regret it.