REWRITING THE AUDIO-VISUAL CONTRACT. SILENCE
OF THE LAMBS AND DOLBY STEREO
by Jay Beck
Writing about sound has always been a difficult prospect for any film scholar
because of the overtly visual nature of our descriptive vocabulary. Yet the
act of graphing and visually depicting a film's soundtrack for the purpose of
demonstration is often a gesture riddled with decisions. What are the most salient
descriptives in conveying the "sound" of a given film? Is dialogue
always the central element? How do sound effects and ambient or "atmospheric"
sounds interrelate? What happens if there is diegetic (location) and non-diegetic
(score) music present? How do you depict three-dimensional space (not only the
effects of surround sound mixes but the actual reverberation attached to specific
sounds) on a two dimensional graph? It is readily apparent that there are no
simple answers to any of these questions, especially in today's era of multi-channel
soundtracks. However the exercise of actually thinking through these issues
and constructing a graphic representation of a contemporary soundtrack provided
some intriguing answers to these hitherto unanswered questions.
The visual depiction of sound, especially the use of sound in films, is by no means a new idea in or out of academia. In its most basic form the sound of a film is generally seen in the form of the shooting script, with dialogue explicitly noted and other sounds tagged in the plot description. While this does offer a visual analog for one component of the film's sound, it does not, in any way, describe the full effect of the soundtrack. Several theorists have tried to depict graphically the sound and image relationship of a given film, from Eisenstein's memorable representation of the "Battle on the Ice" sequence in Alexander Nevsky to Rick Altman, McGraw Jones, and Sonia Tatroe's analysis of several early Vitaphone films, yet each effort involves a radical simplification of the sonic domain. The impetus for this present analysis is founded in my own attempt to create a graph that not only depicts the actual sounds used in a film, but also tries to theorise the effects of the sounds on an audience. Needless to say the result can only approximate the actual "sounds" of the film, however the process is an illuminating way to get closer to the actual function of the interrelation between sound and image - or what theorist Michel Chion calls "the audio-visual contract" (Audio-Vision, Part One).
Chion's "audio-visual contract" is a useful way to think about how spectators process the cinematic material in order to 1) construct a hermetic and believable diegesis and 2) produce a continuous narrative "story" out of the discontinuous "plot" details. Essentially, the separate shots and acoustic components are recombined, or "rewritten," by the audience into a cohesive whole. During the act of viewing a film, the audience takes part in an act of assemblage: taking the known plot details and constructing bridging elements to complete the scope of the story. Part of the way film functions is by erasing the traces of its presence as a medium. In the case of images, several "rules" have evolved to make the cinematic presentation as transparent as possible. For example, new scenes are generally introduced with an establishing shot that reveals the space in which the scene will transpire. Thereafter the scene can be broken down by offering a series of partial views of the space, provided that the shots adhere to the same visual position of the establishing shot and never reverse the perspective by crossing the axis of the scene. This axis, referred to as the 180 degree line, plays a large part in anchoring the spectator in relation to the space, especially in the conversational patterns of shots of one speaker and the reverse shots of a respondent. Despite over 100 years of evolution, the cinematic standards of the establishing shot, 180 degree rule, and shot/reverse shot are still the primary ways that filmmakers orient and guide audiences through their films.
In the same way that editing and framing patterns have evolved to render the cinematic process transparent, so too have sound techniques. While audiences may perceive the diegetic world as coherent and stable, it must be noted that almost all films are constructed from an ever-changing procession of shots, regularly interrupted by edits. One of the main functions of film sound is to "fill in the gaps" created in the editing process by providing a stable and unchanging "background" for the images. In theory, if the images and sound were edited simultaneously, there would be noticeable changes in volume, timbre, and room tone according to the differing position of the microphone, or microphones, from shot to shot. Of course, because sound and image are not slaved to each other and can be edited and manipulated separately, sound practitioners are able to build a soundtrack that does not have volume or tonal changes from shot to shot. The recording of "room tone" or "wild sound" - background sound recorded on the set - functions as acoustic "spackle" for dialogue and effects editors to hide their edits and to smooth over changes in level or timbre. Sound advances introduce a sound from an upcoming scene a few seconds before the picture cut so audiences will not notice the abrupt transition. These are just a few of the sound techniques that work to hide the fragmentary nature of the images.
Sound also has an ability to guide a spectator's attention in relation to the images. Chion has pointed out that sound often functions as an "added value," "enrich[ing] a given image so as to create the definite impression, in the immediate or remembered experience one has of it, that this information or expression 'naturally' comes from what is seen, and is already contained in the image itself" (Audio-Vision 5). However, this notion is a troubling one because it presupposes that audition is somehow subservient to vision, and that despite the fact that sound may alter how we interpret an image, it is still the image track that guides us through a film. Yet I would argue that in the era of multi-channel film sound the audio-visual contract is being rewritten. With the ability to deploy the sound spatially in Dolby Stereo, the soundtrack now regularly takes the place of the establishing shot by creating a stable acoustic environment that subtends the interruptive effect of highly edited sequences. Therefore, the creative use of the modern soundtrack can either adhere to preformulated notions of sound and image relations, or it can explore new ways in which sound and image can interact, thereby expanding the potential uses of both.
While multi-channel sound is certainly not new-it emerged in earnest during the widescreen cinema boom of the 1950s but was restricted to big-budget road show pictures by the decade's end-the introduction of Dolby Stereo presented post-production sound mixers with several challenges. Developed in the mid-1970s, Dolby Stereo is Dolby Laboratory's procedure for mixing and encoding multi-channel sound on to the optical soundtrack. At the heart of the system is a Sansui Matrix converter, which, through a set of phase change relationships, mixes Left, Center, Right, and Surround channel information on to two Dolby noise reduction encoded optical tracks (Allen; Blake, Mixing Dolby, 1984). The industry's desire for backwards compatibility (or the ability to play Dolby soundtracks on monophonic and regular stereo playback systems) meant that post-production mixing practices had to be standardized. This often required that dialogue be mixed to the central channel to ensure comprehension to avoid phase cancellation while music and effects were occasionally deployed in the surround speakers. The literal "whiz-bang" function of sound effects in Dolby surround allowed the soundtrack to expand into the three-dimensional space of the theatre, but only after ensuring the fixity of the voice within the plane of the motion picture screen. Often this would lead to static soundtracks where music and certain sound effects (like car drive-offs or plane fly-bys) burst free of the space of the screen while dialogue and sound remained within the space of the diegesis, locked behind the plane of the image.
However there have been several innovative uses of Dolby surround sound that have served as touchstones for the creative use of sound in today's era of 5.1 channel discrete sound systems. Few films managed to utilise the promise of Dolby stereo's expanded spatial capabilities as well as Jonathan Demme's 1991 film Silence of the Lambs. The film's focus on a young FBI agent, Clarice Starling, and her search for a serial killer known only as "Buffalo Bill" presented Demme and his sound team with an intriguing opportunity for deploying Dolby stereo technology to replicate the subjective state of the central character in her quest. The penultimate sequence from the film serves as an excellent example for illustrating the acoustic construction of space in the post-Dolby era of cinema sound. In this scene, agent Starling discovers the identity of serial killer Buffalo Bill and attempts to arrest him in his house. Bill escapes into his labyrinthine basement and Clarice is forced to navigate through the space by following the shouts of kidnapping victim Catherine Martin. In the process of traversing the previously unseen space, sound is constantly used as a means of replacing the standard narrative convention of the establishing shot and as a way to link the audience to Clarice's subjectivity. The sound of the sequence is indicative of Michel Chion's notion of the Dolby soundspace becoming an acoustic aquarium where sound "magnetizes" the diegetic space into a concrete whole (Audio-Vision 69-71).
Chion bases his concept on the fact that the improved definition of the Dolby soundtrack allows for a more faithful "rendering" of the accretion of acoustic details in the mix. Accordingly, this polyphony operates on a series of acoustic "planes" that allows the auditor to clearly distinguish not only the individual sounds but their location in the space of the diegesis (Quiet Revolution 70-71). Through the use of Dolby surround sound, the soundtrack manages to expand the two-and-a-half dimensional space of the screen (left-right, up-down, but only depth "into" the screen) to a full three dimensions by extending the diegetic space into the space of the theatre. Two crucial effects result from the use of Dolby surround sound: first, the listener is surrounded by the sound field while several layers of sound are heard simultaneously and discretely; second, the individual sounds can be rendered with a clarity that allows them to direct the listener's attention through their spatial specificity. Therefore the Dolby surround soundtrack effectively serves to guide the spectator in the same way as the establishing shot, delineating a stable space which is subsequently carved up through shot-reverse shot deconstructions, while nodding toward a new regime of acoustic attraction that destabilizes the narrative centrality of the frame.
According to Chion, "instead of establishing space (sound now does this), the image selects viewpoints onto it" (Quiet Revolution 79). Dolby surround sound's capability of rendering a three-dimensional diegesis offers filmmakers the ability to edit a set of unstable images (that break the 180° rule, jump from close up to long shot, or rapidly cut between impossible perspectives) on to a stable acoustic space. In the penultimate sequence from Silence of the Lambs, the space of Buffalo Bill's basement is made tactile in the acoustic dimension by Dolby surround sound while the visual space is limited by the restricted narrative perspective of Clarice's point-of-view. The smooth transition of the acoustic space, where only one layer of sound is changing at any moment, compensates for the "jumping" of the camera from Clarice's perspective to direct head-on shots (a common stylistic trope in Demme's films) as she moves throughout the house. This is extremely important as the acoustic "point-of-audition" (see Altman, Sound Space 58-64), initially aligned with Clarice, is reversed to Bill's point-of-audition later in the sequence.
Again, returning to the impetus for examining this sequence, it becomes immediately clear that the process of graphing Dolby surround soundtracks is essentially flawed from the start because of the extreme variation of acoustic "events" within the soundscape. The multiplicity of sonic components in any given shot has increased exponentially since the introduction of production multi-track recording in the 1970s and digital editing in the late 1980s. The resultant soundtrack, especially with the expanded frequency range of Dolby stereo and its spatial dispersion of sounds, buzzes with an intensity of its own. Chion refers to these myriad acoustic events as a "micro-rendering[s] of the hum of the world" whereby the "minor denizens of sound ... breaths, squeaks, clinks, hums" each compete for the attention of the auditor and function by carving out the acoustic space (Audio-Vision 70-72). Yet identifying and graphing each of these individual sound sources is technically impossible on a two-dimensional graph. The sounds in Demme's film coalesce into an acoustic "lump" (Chion/Brewster's term) where it is often difficult to dissect the soundscape into localizable sound sources. The multitude of sounds in the modern soundtrack begs for a new approach to theorizing and categorizing sound as a trans-sensoral, poly-spatial "event."
Most of the sound production process is still broken down into the traditional, labor-based hierarchy of dialogue, music, and sound effects. It becomes immediately apparent that in the Dolby era of multi-channel sound and layered soundtracks that these original divisions rapidly fall away as clear-cut categories. The roles of the sound editor and Foley artist have grown far beyond the inclusion of room tone ambiances and added footsteps. Modern film sound demands a highly interactive production process where the construction of a film's soundtrack needs to be thought out during the earliest stages of production (see Murch, Thom). The sonic depth of the multi-level soundtrack blurs the boundaries between dialogue, sound effects, and music, making it extremely difficult to ascribe any one sound to a specific area. The relatively recent emergence of the role of sound designer, often an aggregate concept of equal parts sound effects editor, supervising sound editor, and spatial majordomo, also begs for an understanding of a transformational status of film sound (see Schreger; Mancini). No longer can sound simply be thought of existing in one of three discrete areas. The sound designer (here, Skip Lievsay) shepherds these transformed sounds into a fourth area of film sound - spatial ambiance - that effectively traverses all of the classical divisions of sound mixing and dissolves the uniform segregations of contemporary soundtrack construction.
The three primary divisions of sound in the film are derived from their classically defined and discursive designations. Dialogue and ADR editors are responsible for providing clearly discernible dialogue, Foley artists and FX editors add hard effects to scenes, and the composer generally creates music after the picture and dialogue lock is achieved. Howard Shore's score is present for more than an hour of screen time and it underpins all of the highly dramatic moments in the film, often guiding the emotion of the spectator through its suspended minor chords and nervous-sounding tremolos in the lower register. The scripted quality of the music follows the late-Romantic style of composition that attempts to ascribe emotional qualities to the music through familiar tonalities, chord progressions, and tempos. Despite this prior use of the score in the film, the music actually drops out at a crucial point when Clarice enters the basement and it does not return until the end of the sequence. Instead of guiding the audience through the familiar emotional responses elicited by scripted score music, Demme prefers to place a reliance on the diegetic sounds, each carefully positioned to coincide with Clarice's point-of-audition.
The primary sound that guides Clarice, and the audience, through the first space of the basement is the diegetic music playing from an unseen, distant source. Hip Priest by the Mancunian band The Fall is heard reverberating throughout the basement. The fact that the music stays constant in both volume and reverberant qualities provides continuity from when she descends the basement hallway to her subsequent entrance into the sewing room. As Clarice moves closer to the sewing room, the room that presumably contains the speakers, the reverberation diminishes, eventually disappearing when she opens the door. The music then lowers in volume and increases in reverberant qualities after Clarice enters the next concatenous space, the room with the well, where the next significant narratively-based sound cue of Catherine Martin's voice takes precedence.
Perhaps the most important function of the diegetic music is that it provides a temporal thread that allows the audience to make sense of the rapid cutting and reversals between point-of-view (POV) and head-on shots. Because of these shooting and editing techniques, Demme does not offer the audience either establishing shots of the space or the familiarity of the 180° rule. Instead, the "connective tissue" that holds the sequence together is in the linearity of the temporal flow of Hip Priest. Because the song does not cut during the sequence the audience does not perceive the temporal gaps between the shots and Clarice's spatial leaps. Rather, a smooth sense of motion through the space is created in the unity of the diegetic music.
In conjunction with the unifying features of the diegetic music, the dialogue between Clarice and Catherine Martin also functions narratively to guide Clarice through the space and acoustically renders the spatial qualities of the basement. As soon as the source of the music is discovered, Catherine's voice takes over as the guiding mechanism for charting the hidden space. Her voice is heard at a low volume with a high level of reverberation as it guides Clarice to the room with the well. This is the only space that the audience has been introduced to through a previous scene and therefore, accordingly, there is only one brief shot of Catherine in the well to confirm Clarice's discovery. However, once the discovery is made and Clarice moves to the next adjacent space, Catherine's voice is no longer used nor needed as an acoustic cue to guide Clarice into the following rooms. At this point the primacy of the voice is supplanted by an increased attention to Clarice's breathing that will serve as a crucial pivot point once Bill re-emerges.
It should be noted that throughout the first half of this sequence Clarice's breathing is heard increasing in volume as she becomes more anxious. This sound is spatially anchored in the plane of the screen, and it moves wherever Clarice goes in the frame when she is in the shot. If the shot depicts her POV, the sound carries over from the spatial position of the previous shot and does not change in volume or reverberant qualities. This is important to note because Demme's regular use of an oscillation between POV and head-on shots breaks up the visual continuity of the sequence; the consistent use of a fixed spatial construction through the soundtrack ensures a conceptual "wholeness" of the space that is in counterpoint to the shifting perspectives. The soundtrack carves out a stable diegetic space which guides the spectator-auditor through the narratively defined location as the images flicker between first and third person views. Despite the fact that Clarice's breathing is heard from a position away from the presumed location of her body, the combined impact of the other sound sources (diegetic music, dialogue, and more crucially ambiance and sound effects) add up to a point-of-audition that is marked as Clarice's in this first half of the sequence.
Dialogue and music are easily identifiable in the first half of the sequence, but become murky with the increased presence of two other registers of sound: ambiance and sound effects. These two areas are difficult to analyse primarily because of the intense imbrication of acoustic details and the subtlety of the sound mix. Throughout the film it is often difficult to distinguish what constitutes background ambient sound and what are particularly significant "hard" sound effects. Any sounds that can be visually "tagged," that is identified by a profilmic source, are categorized under the heading of sound effects. Other noises that are neither identifiable by their sound characteristics nor through their on-screen presence are categorized as ambient. While this evaluative framework does not do justice to the complexity of the sequence by revealing the process involved in the creation of the sound mix (was that whoosh of air background sound, an added effect, or a musical sound crafted by the composer?), it does emulate the "interpretative" process involved in sorting and making sense of the soundtrack.
The identifiable sound effects (dog barks, footsteps, door crashes, refrigerator sounds, etc.) operate by adding materiality to the objects and depth to the diegesis. Michel Chion uses the terms "materializing sound indices" (MSIs) and "elements of auditory setting" (EASs) to describe two different ways that intermittent sounds serve to concretise a filmic space, seen or unseen, through their accumulation of auditory details. Materializing sound indices are the qualities of given sounds that firmly anchor them within their physical counterparts, the objects that are presumably producing the sounds (Audio-Vision 114-117). The "realism" of any sequence is partially contained in the aggregate number of these MSIs that combine to render the space as diegetically "real" and concatenous rather than a construction on a sound stage or in an editing suite. Thus the rustling of Clarice's clothes, the scuffling of her footsteps, the creaking of the door hinges, and other micro-sounds combine to create a space that is perceived as tactile by only engaging the senses of sound and vision. These sounds are often classified as ambiance or background for the sake of ease and clarity but their effect is much more crucial. Although the audience is not conscious of the individual sounds existing outside of a lumped acoustic experience, their distribution in the stereo field serves to pull at the borders of the frame and to reveal the presence of a larger, and more threatening, unseen space.
The elements of auditory setting function as sounds that punctuate the acoustic space through their discontinuous presence (Audio-Vision 54-55). Perhaps the dominant example of this is the sound of Precious, Bill's poodle, heard barking throughout most of the sequence (1:20-4:50). Even though the sound of the poodle is not necessary for the narrative after Clarice has discovered its location at the bottom of the well, the barking continues until the point when the electricity is shut off. Of course this brings up several questions such as why does the dog continue barking after Clarice has specifically told Catherine to keep it quiet and why does the dog stop only after the lights go out? Perhaps one reason is to heighten the audience's sense of anxiety as Clarice is decidedly not in control despite her proclaimation, "FBI-you're safe." But another strategy used in this sequence is the deployment of EASs, such as the poodle's barks, to create a cacophony that extinguishes itself at the same time as the lights. The crescendo of EASs can be heard from about 3:47 in the sequence to the point at which the electricity is cut (4:47) when they abruptly stop. The resultant effect is a double absence: the loss of visual material and the perceived "silence" of the soundtrack.
In this last part of this sequence, after a few seconds of a black screen, Bill reveals his presence to the audience when he is seen observing Clarice through a pair of night-vision goggles. Here the soundscape shifts radically to deconstruct the space of the acoustically -rendered basement and to emphasise the immediacy of the threat by aligning the point-of-audition with Bill. During this part of the sequence, spatial cues such as MSIs and EASs become less important in lieu of a heightened awareness of the remaining sounds. This is primarily because the two principle sounds in the section are Bill and Clarice's breathing. Throughout Clarice's breathing has been heard as part of the dialogue. Her breathing sounds, as well as her spoken voice, were mixed and panned in the soundscape to match her presumed position in the room and the reverberation of her shouts fit in accord with the size of the space. Yet in this last section a crucial change occurs as the point-of-audition switches from Clarice's perspective to Bill's. Instead of Clarice's breathing sounds being matched to the location of her body in the frame, free to move left and right, she is kept visually and acoustically centred in the frame. This is done by channeling all of her breathing sound through the center speaker without channeling the reverberant details to the left and right or surround speakers. Furthermore, Bill's breathing is heard "only" through the surround speakers, clearly aligning the audience with his point-of-audition; the effect is an acoustic objectification of Clarice that matches her visual objectification. Thus the conjunction of the acoustic rendering of the sounds and the binocular matte on the image clearly defines Bill's perspective and firmly places the audience in both his point-of-view and point-of-audition.
In this final section the scarcity of EASs adds to the tension, especially in contrast to the crescendo that precedes it. The few sounds that we do hear, the sizzle of Clarice's hand on the furnace or her tripping and falling in the "dark," function less as indicators of Clarice's presence in the diegetic space, and more as reminders of the hidden threat in the room. The ambient sounds in this section can be described as a general sound of air rushing that serves as a "bottom" for the other hard effects. The use of these air whooshes creates a psycho-acoustic sensation of "silence" primarily because of the markedly diminished number of elements in the mix. Sound designer Skip Lievsay commented on the intimacy of the effect saying, "it's just a miraculous way of pulling the audience in. We were able to take all sorts of sounds like jungle sounds, animals and raindrops-manipulate them with equalization and reverb and layer the components" (LoBrutto 266). While the scene could have been constructed as just breathing and Foleyed effects without this highly constructed background of moving air and distant thuds, the inclusion of the sound prevents the section from crossing over from realistic to the oneiric. The balance lies somewhere in-between as Clarice stumbles about blindly for over a minute's worth of screen time before the return of Howard Shore's score. The music coincides with the first confirmation that Bill is in Clarice's direct presence when shot/reverse shot is broken as his hand extends into the frame. The ominous tones of the score, constructed from low register horns and percussion instruments, emerge from the din of the ambient sound, effectively masking it as the music builds to a crescendo and the confrontation ensues.
Here, the music provides the dominant role on the soundtrack until the point when Bill's cocks the hammer on his gun and the acoustic regime is once again transformed. This vital sound provides the c(l)ue for Clarice to discover Bill's location in the space and it is heard as a very loud, reverberant sound that does not match any realistic sense of the acoustic event. It can be argued that this is the moment when Clarice becomes aware of the location of Bill and where the audience is once again aligned with her acoustic perspective. The psycho-acoustic rendering of the sound as a highly reverberant, high volume event is meant to simulate Clarice's heightened sense of awareness. This highly exaggerated sound is followed by the only slow motion shot in the film where she spins around and empties her gun. The six shots are seen as flash-frames and a non-synchronous sound of breaking glass is matched with a brief shot of sunlight streaming in through a cracked window (we're to assume that the sixth bullet hesitated for a split second so that it could fulfill the need for illumination by shattering the covered window). At this point the soundscape returns to its original construction, with Clarice's breathing heard in a localizable space through the left, center, and right speakers while the score music continues to play. A few random EASs are used to confirm that the sound is heard from the space of the diegesis and is no longer internalized as a specific point-of-audition. This is confirmed by the first two-shot where Clarice is seen in the background, reloading her gun, while Bill lies bleeding in the foreground.
In this sequence from Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme and his sound team demonstrate a new way of engaging the spectator that relies on the haptic ability of Dolby Stereo to activate audio-visual interactions generally not available in monophonic cinematic presentations. While the effect is quite striking when viewing and listening to the film, the fact that is activated by an artful interweaving of sounds and images makes such an effect extremely difficult to isolate, let alone describe. What further confounds the scholar is the fact that our critical vocabulary is especially lacking when it comes to evaluating sound. The lack of a stable, identifiable object regularly results in a perforce application of visual metaphors to describe non-visual effects. Conversely, because sound is a fugitive medium and not conducive to written representation, it is conducive to chart the sound visually just to discover those elements and effects that cannot be written. The graphical reduction of a Dolby Stereo soundtrack, despite the inherent flaws of the process, forces one to analyse the function of sound in a given film beyond the simple reinforcement of the visual material. This process of writing the auditory thereby asymptotically approaches an understanding of the overall effect of the audio-visual contract.
By using this example from Silence of the Lambs I elaborate a way that Dolby Stereo managed to come into its own as an expressive format for original and creative sound work. Unlike the single-channel soundtrack and early Dolby Stereo soundtracks that were still tethered to monophonic codes of representation, Silence of the Lambs expands the role of sound to explore effects that both augment the narrative and heighten dramatic effect. The filmmakers blend the auditory and the visual in such a way as to engage the audience more directly than either dialogue or images alone. Throughout this sample sequence, sound is used to chart a specific path through an unseen space and to align the audience with two specific points of audition, Clarice's and Bill's. In doing so, the sound is designed to perform three specific operations. First, it functions as a unifying element to cover over the spatio-temporal breaks of the editing and the oscillation between POV shots and their reverse angles. Second, it renders a perceivable space through the use of MSIs and EASs. And third, it constructs points-of-audition that coincide with the perspective of certain characters. However, the use of sound in the film also functions to offer a new form of spectatorial positioning by creating a stable acoustic space within which the director can dispense with established patterns of shot/reverse shot. By mobilizing the sound in such a fashion, the film provides a model for sound use for subsequent Dolby Stereo films while foregrounding the systemic limitations that have prevented such an application in the past. The convention of "Dolby sound" had, in fact, deafened audiences to the variety of possible audio and visual interactions. The fixed aesthetics that emerged from Dolby Stereo's rapid acceptance in the 1970s precluded such experiments, and it is only after more than a decade that filmmakers answered the call by rethinking film sound's potential.
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Altman, Rick. "Sound Space." Sound Theory/Sound Practice. Ed. Rick Altman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 46-64.
_____, with McGraw Jones and Sonia Tatroe. "Inventing the Cinema Soundtrack: Hollywood's Multiplane Sound System," Music and Cinema. Ed. James Buhler, Caryl Flinn, and David Neumeyer. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2000. 339-359.
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_____. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Ed. and trans. Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
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1. The more commonly known "Dolby Surround"
is the home video platform of Dolby Stereo, introduced in 1982.
2. Automatic Dialogue Replacement, also known as "dubbing" or "looping."
3. Actually, the song DOES cut or skip at 3:53 when Clarice enters the workroom and a 2 second musical passage from the prior shot is heard again. It is very hard to determine whether this is a mistake on the part of the music editor or whether the shots were all timed to the music and a decision was made to extend to the one shot because of too much temporal overlap.
4.It is interesting to note that the first experimental stereo film produced by the Bell Laboratories in the 1930s dealt with just this issue of spatial rendering in the stereo field. The film was made in three parts with one featuring a man stumbling though a dark doom trying to find a light switch. Sounds were clearly heard in the stereo field and localizable in space as he stumbled across the crowded room. Upon reaching the other side, he switches on the lights revealing the myriad obstacles that he had encountered in crossing the space. Despite the fact that this scene could have been shot entirely in darkness, letting the sound carry the spatial information, Demme still relied on the image to convey most of the narrative detail.