First of all, I thought it was super cool that she did the sound on O Brother Where Art Thou because I like that movie a lot. Just had to get that out of the way.
I agree that sound is under-appreciated but definitely necessary. Movies and TV wouldn’t be what they are without background noise. It wouldn’t be believable and it would be boring. However, like Paul said, we pay more attention to the visual than we do the sound, especially the first time we watch something. During The Wire, I find myself focusing more on the pictures and the main plot than the sounds and the minor details because I am watching it for the first time. For instance, when I was watching episode 3 of season 2, I missed the part at the beginning where one guy asks another where he has been and the other said he has been laying low and then it pans to Omar.
I thought it was interesting that a lot of the sound was the original sound from when they shot the scenes and that it wasn’t worth spending time to replace it when it was realistic anyway. I also thought it was cool how she had to send people to the docks to record the equipment and things like that so they would have the sounds for season 2.
I also thought it was interesting how she said when a scene is too noisy, add more noise. It made sense once she explained about how you have to add traffic noise if there is noise on one side and not on the other, but it was weird to think about at first.
What she said about the space between the character and the camera and the volume at which they speak was something that I never thought about. How now, even when someone is far from the camera you can hear them with no problem, but in The Wire, if someone is far away, it is harder to hear them. I also thought it was cool when she said it depends how far you want to hold the audience from information determines if what the characters are saying is loud or not.
After listening to the lead and follow scene she said that when you want to make something quiet, you don’t turn off the sound, you bring out details you wouldn’t be able to hear unless it was quiet. I thought that was interesting. I also thought the contrast between how quiet it was when we were watching the kids with Stringer and when we were in the car with McNulty was interesting. I didn’t notice until this time listening to it that The Lion Sleeps Tonight may have been a reference to the jungle that McNulty was seeing because he didn’t know where his kids were.
I love when she said that dogs bark whenever someone is not where they are supposed to be, so every time McNulty goes for a booty call dogs are barking at him. I thought that was brilliant. Along those lines, it was interesting that dogs were barking when Kima was about to get shot. She was where she was not supposed to be.
It was an interesting conversation and it will definitely make me pay more attention tonight when I listen to the episode of The Wire.