Documentary Sound: Beyond the Diegetic

Prior, David (2014) Documentary Sound: Beyond the Diegetic. In: World Documentary Film and TV Conference, September 4-6, 2014, Falmouth University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Over the last ten years or so, there has been a growing body of literature emerging that examines the role of sound in film. While case studies have been diverse, attention to sound in documentary film has been notable by its relative absence.

The term ‘sound design’, widely attributed to Walter Murch, has become shorthand for the overall composition of a film’s sound track. In this paper I will suggest that far from being a dispassionate description of the way in which sound is integrated with film images, the notion of ‘sound design’ has privileged certain approaches to sound editing and has skewed discourse around film sound towards genres in which sound plays a primarily mimetic, rather than diagetic function. Acknowledging the implied post-production contrivance in the term ‘sound design’, I will focus on the role of sound in documentary film and explore some of the reasons why there are so few examples of documentary films that can be recognised as having made a significant contribution to the state of the art of film sound.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: sound design; diegetic; mimetic; documentary; sound; film;
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > International Film
Music > Sound Design
Depositing User: David Prior
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 09:54
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:09
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2352

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