The importance of sound, and why it matters

  • The truth is, for me, it’s obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound. You don’t realize it because you can’t see it.
    — Danny Boyle

Sound is such an incredibly important tool, however it is often undervalued against its visual counterpart, because we think that visual information is more important than auditorial information. But what if I told you that the reverse was true - that sound design is the key to a good story?

One revered filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, demonstrates this through employing fantastic sound design within all of his films, and absorbing his audience's attention into his narrative.


It's difficult to dismiss how effective sound design can be within a film, and it's purpose of heightening both feelings and emotions, whilst also serving as auditorial cues to advance the story. In fact, Nolan himself insisted that "sound is as important as picture".

Interestingly enough, Martin Scorsese is also a master of sound design - but the opposite of what we expect - incorporating silence to tell better stories. Silence can actually create atmosphere and tone to a film.


By no means does this suggest that films with silence are inherently better, but it demonstrates that it's how you use sound that's important, and how considering it's dramatic effect can really enhance it's ability to tell a story.


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