Exercise – Create a New Soundtrack

Look back at your list of sounds from the listening exercise above. If you have not already done so, record each of the sounds in your list.  Lay your new sounds underneath the picture. It is likely they will not synch very well. Think more about what you want to draw attention to and the quality of the sound.

Adjust the levels of each sound to try and achieve a sound balance that sounds reasonably natural whilst clearly drawing attention to the right elements of the image and creating the desired atmosphere.

Look at other students’ work. Analyse what works, how it works and why.

The Visitor – Take Two from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

This was a really interesting exercise though I found I had to use headphones to eradicate all the sound from the house, it makes me realise in these exercises just how loud my family is. With the headphones on I could concentrate completely on the sounds and went about making a list of the sounds I would need. I realised it was going to require a lot as in the video I made I had used an iMovie soundtrack to add drama. The moment the sound was stripped away so was the drama. I needed to ensure that the drama was still as powerful even without the music.

I recorded each sound separately using the video function on my iPhone but I think I will need to find my old dictaphone to get the sounds as clear as possible. The sound on my camcorder is very good. In fact in the scene when my actor rings the doorbell the sound is so realistic when played on the video my family keep racing to the door to answer it.


  • Bird song
  • Natural ambience
  • Distant traffic
  • Foot going down in puddle
  • Resounding splash
  • Heavy footfalls
  • Doorbell
  • Harsh breathing
  • Creak of floorboard
  • Shuffle of woman moving
  • Knock of the door
  • Gasp
  • Letter box openingx
  • Gasp
  • Heavy breathing
  • Birds singing
  • Man speaking
  • Breathing
  • Footsteps
  • Door opening
  • Bang of saucepan on head.



Essential things for the video

  • Calm in the beginning then the stamping foot comes down in the puddle
  • The scene is tense with the man at the door
  • The sound shows how something is changing as the woman is fed up of being scared
  • The tense moment as the two meet

I included a strike of thunder as the foot crashes down in the puddle which continues in the background as a disturbing echo to the drama unfolding.

It was hard to keep the drama without music or sound so in a spur of inspiration I recorded my sister and myself crying out ‘Why does the man keep coming to our house. What have we ever done to deserve this.’ before ending on a “Mum Mum MUM!” The drama is creating emotionally by the woman’s hearing her daughters. It spurs her on to take action.

I removed any ambient sound towards the end of the video so all the focus was on the confrontation and the viewer is wondering what will happen next.


Look at other students’ work. Analyse what works, how it works and why.

Helen Rosemier’s exercise was especially striking. I loved her use of the person sawing wood outside the bedroom window. It’s sharp and cutting and I feel gives a sense of danger as the man wakes battling his urge to drink. The birdsong is a complete contrast, alive with hope, delicate and beautiful and highlighting everything good in the world. As the man has a racking cough he sits listening to the bird song which is stronger to show how he is thinking about it. He wonders whether it’s worth having the drink when there is such beauty outside to enjoy. Then he gives in to the demon drink and the sawing starts again, a cutting sound to show the danger he is putting himself in (highlighted by the coughing)






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