The impact of sound
"If you talk to any director, they'll say music is fifty percent of the movie" - Hans Zimmer
When we talk of screen based culture we immediately think of it as a visual experience. While we certainly experience film through our eyes, we just as surely experience it through our ears. Of all the artistic tools at a filmmakers disposal, music and sound is undeniably the most vital for communicating emotion.
From the silent era where sound effects and music were created live behind the theatre screen, to contemporary immersive surround sound that envelops you in your seat, the addition of audio elements to a film helps to create richer experience. Music and sound serve to scare you, make you laugh, or perhaps reduce you to tears. It can draw out the inner feelings of a character, inform us of time and place, create an atmosphere, build tension and allude to the psychological or unspoken emotion. It’s most effective when you’re least aware of it. You only need to look at the shower scene from Psycho to appreciate the power of music and the psychological impact that deliberately constructed sounds have on us.