NPR's On The Media

are they too hokey?

So some week’s On the Media podcasts are very interesting to me while others kind of fall short. This week unfortunately happened to be one of those week, so I decided to fall into the sound effects blog, and in ways relate it to my blog from last week.


First off, I’d like to say how interesting a perspective this had on it, even for me. I usually try to think of things from an outsider perspective, or somewhat out of the box thoguht process, but I never thought of sound effects not sounding “real”. I mean it’s true, how many times have you actually seen or heard someone saw their arm off, in order to use that noise for a future horror film torture scene? I mean, I fall into the category of people who cringe when they hear these sounds or see someone getting punched in a movie. And in retrospect I do think sound effects do add something, that certain visuals can’t.  When watching a silent film, especially if it’s a horror film, in my opinion,  theres no way to truly get frightened. I’ve even tested this theory out. Take the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, a movie that truly scares you, and mute it while watching. There will be no scaring theme music leading up to the scream of the helpless woman, nothing to make you truly jump out of your skin when watching, unless the scene is gory of course.


But this does lead me to my next thought, do these sound effects really correlate to the actions on screen. The sound effects of truly gory movies are noteworthy and if these were different would we feel the same way. Does media create somewhat of a standard for movies and put ideas in societies heads over what something should sound like? I think it would be interesting to actually hear what someone getting punched in the face sounded like. Not to say that I want to see or hear someone actually get punched in the face, but I would love to compare the sounds of a real live gore or fighting scene, with the scene’s sounds implemented by movies makers. After listening to On The Media, it just, in some ways, lead me to believe that these sound effects are just another hokey thing created by the media to scare society. And I mean of course that’s the point, but are they too hokey. In all, I just think it would be an interesting experiment to take a horror film, or a film with a truly gory fighting scene and change the sounds, or make it silent. A movie of recent history, maybe swap it with a movie from the seventies, would this change movie goers perspectives?

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