SOUND DESIGN

Sound design and foley work hand in hand to bring any visual project to life. A beautifully shot film can fall apart if it does not have a truly immersive sonic treatment. A theatre production will often rely heavily on incidental sound design and pre-recorded foley to enhance the diagetic sound on stage. In any scenario, it is vitally important to consider how your project will sound even when you are in the initial concept stages.

David's ethos for defining the importance of sound in film is that our eyes can be easily tricked into believing what they are seeing is real with just 23.98 frames per second, and at 60 frames per second, it almost looks too real. Our ears, however, require at least 44,100 frames per second to be fooled into believing that what they are hearing is real - anything less becomes obviously fake. With that being said, our ears are incredibly sensitive, and far less forgiving of poorly executed effects, digital noise, or other artifacts, than our eyes are when they are presented with similar artifacts in film.

Whether you are working on a feature length film, a mini documentary, or a theatre piece, Ishikawa Media has the facilities and expertise to provide the sonic sparkle to elevate your production to the next level.

Award winning companies Scarlet View MediaAbsinthe Films, and Tortoise In A Nutshell have worked with David to seamlessly integrate sound design and foley into their source recordings to create captivating and unique projects.

With portable equipment, location recording is no problem. Coupled with detailed studio foley this combination can create truly convincing sonic environments.


 

THE PROCESS

As with bespoke composition, the earlier a sound designer is brought into a project, the better. In the case of a film, a sound designer can be working with a director from the early script stages, in order to develop initial sonic concepts that will best represent, or enhance the storyline and visual ideas.

David's experience with location/field recording, as well as studio-based foley, means that once the script has been finished, and the locations have been set, he can capture source recordings from either the filming locations or, in the case of a studio-based film, suitable locations that best represent the visual space. This period of "collecting" sounds saves a lot of time further in the process, as fewer sonic gaps will have to be filled later on.

After reviewing any dialogue and diagetic sounds recorded on set, David can start to assess the need for additional foley recording, ambient location recordings, and additional dialogue recordings (ADR).

If you do not have an on-set audio team assembled, Ishikawa Media can work closely with you to set up a suitable team. This can often be beneficial, as David can make sure that as much source material is gathered from the shoot to fit his workflow, which will inevitably result in a more streamlined audio post-production.

At this point, if the sound design and foley is intended to be purely functional, the project will be ready to mix. If your film requires much more creativity in sound design, David will work with you to bring to life the initial creative sonic concepts discussed in pre-production. In the case of Scarlet View Media's Of Shark And Man, David discussed with the director (David Diley) how to give the sharks, and even the water itself, a distinct sonic character. By referencing old slasher movies, David worked to bring almost musical qualities to each shark species, focusing specifically on the "burly heavyweight boxer" bull sharks - the main stars of the film. Because Of Shark And Man is not just a documentary about sharks, but rather the personal journey of the protagonist is a main theme, there was a lot of room to sonically represent his thoughts and feelings. For one particular sequence (dubbed the "dream sequence" during post-production), David was able to create strikingly abstract sonic ideas, more akin to sci-fi films than documentaries.

In the case of theatre productions, the process can be very similar, but the balance between diagetic and non-diagetic/pre-recorded sound becomes a key focus.


 

WHAT IF THE PROJECT IS ALREADY IN POST-PRODUCTION?

If you have been working on a project and are only starting to think about sound design now that you are well into editing/post-production, do not worry! Amazing things can still be achieved at any point in the production process. In fact, the director of Of Shark And Man only reached out to David Lawrie to discuss sound well after the film had been shot in Fiji, and editing had already begun.

Ishikawa Media has years of ambient location recordings and found sounds, captured by David, that can potentially be used to enhance the source recordings in your freshly wrapped film shoot. Sometimes fresh ambient location recordings will have to be acquired for your production. If this is the case, it will very quickly become apparent how much fresh recording will be required, upon reviewing your footage and source recordings.

In other words, introducing sound design and foley to a project during post production is similar to introducing bespoke composition during post production. A high level of audio quality can be achieved, but the results will often feel reactionary, rather than fully integral. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and in some cases it can be ideal. In the case of Of Shark And Man, 100% of the underwater sound was created fully in post production, because none of the audio recorded on location was suitable for the overall feeling of the film. Even though it would have been ideal to have been able to capture higher quality ambience and location recordings for the land-based footage directly during the shoot, the quality of the supplied ambience was of high enough quality to be reinforced with ambient location recordings that had been captured over the years in various countries around the world.


 

If you would like to find out what David could bring to your project, please use the contact form to start the discussion!