Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to the concept of background noise, in particular urban environmental soundscapes, and how they affect our mental state. Health concerns are a prominent factor of the wall of sound we encapsulate ourselves with. Stress levels are on the rise, and the daily grind stops us from reconnecting with ourselves in a natural way.
Mankind is suffering from a disconnect.
The clanging sound of construction, the overpowering drone of traffic, and the usual caffeine infused footsteps, fill the air around us at every conceivable moment. It’s becoming increasingly hard to get a moments silence in civilisation, and this has very real concerns. You don’t have to walk far through your nearest city before you find the human reaction to the cacophony of urban life. Earbuds and headphones help us to block out the noise, but at what cost?
I’m certainly guilty of plugging in and tuning out when walking around Brisbane CBD. But I recently decided to ditch the earbuds in favour of protecting my hearing, with the plan of immersing myself in paying attention to what’s going on around me. The first things that strikes me is the hum of the cars, with pedestrian crossings beeping away in the background. It’s actually quite jarring when you listen to everything in isolation.
Unfortunately, the noise only intensifies when you get indoors…
Various retailers and office workers will know this all too well.
// A Day In The Life
I decided it would be a really interesting project to try incorporating sound to tell a story with visual aid. I contacted a director through a group I recently worked with on a short film, and set up a meeting to discuss the project. After talking, we decided that a stylised visual piece would be an ideal accompaniment to an audio experience. Editing style and cinematography were discussed, and a direction began forming for the narrative.
Drawing parallels and juxtapositions between urban and natural soundscapes, the storyline follows the routinized existence of a suited office drone, as he embarks on his daily pilgrimage to the rat race. Due to being exposed to such high noise levels created by our own urban environment, we have become desensitized to the subtlety of sound and its impact on our lives. Noise pollution levels are ever on the rise, and the purpose of the short is to highlight a hypersensitive awareness to our everyday life.
Giving myself four weeks worth of work for this project is certainly not ideal, but by cutting down the scope of the project it should be achievable.
- Shot/sound list
- Gear list
- Arrange acting talent
- Two days of shooting
- Capture location sound
- Begin editing
- Begin processing audio
- Editing health check
- Audio health check
- Record foley
- Begin mixdown
- Visual health check
- Final mixdown
- Final health check
- Circulate short online