Week 03 – Assignment – “The Conversation”

Week 03 – Assignment – “The Conversation”


Assignment – Watch “The Conversation”.

“Working” – Synopsis (without spoilers!): Harry Caul is a private investigator who specializes in developing gadgets that capture people’s conversations from afar. He then takes the recorded audio and edits it so that everything is audible. For one job, Harry hears that the investigated people speak of his client possibly killing them, and Harry doesn’t want to be responsible for that.

Reflection – It was scary! I was not a fan of the uncomfortable tension the sound made me feel (meaning Murch did an amazing job).

What I noticed in the sound design:

  • Post production was incredibly realistic in the audio recorded by the investigator
    • Live music in the park covered up people’s conversations when the people walked by
    • Random distortions in the audio due to the investigator’s recording equipment
  • Music was eerie and suspenseful
    • Used quite a lot for the purpose of:
      • setting the mood of the scene
      • describing the character’s untrusting, secretive personality
    • Chromatic notes and lack of tonality made the scenes have a suspicious and uncertain feeling
  • Repetition of phrases from the investigator’s recordings
    • Emphasizes the significance
    • Shows that the phrases are stuck in the investigator’s head, reminding him of his conscience
  • Silence used for suspense
    • Absence of sound makes the viewer uneasy
    • Creates tension and anticipation

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