Stretch - Sound Design for a short film.

April 11, 2018

We were all absolutely thrilled  when Jay Bedwani and Dewi Gregory got in touch with us about handling the sound for their short film Stretch.

 

It was another opportunity for us to create weird and wonderful sounds in the studio.

 

The film is a short documentary about a French acrobat (Sébastien Bruas) who is contemplating the end of his career. Before starting the audio post production on the project Nick Davies (Senior Dubbing Mixer), Jay Bedwani (Director) and Dewi Gregory (Producer) discussed the sound design required for the film. One common theme that emerged from the meeting was the need to create a sound design that would illustrate & capture the internal sound of Sébastien's body before and during his acrobatic performance. Below is a photo of Nick creating sound effects for the film.

Image copyright: Hoot Studios.

 

The opening sequence has various abstract shots of Sébastien stretching in his living room. The idea for this sequence was to emulate the internal sound of his body stretching during his warm-up routine.

 

How did we do this? Fortunately Nick has a very nice collection of contact microphones which enabled us to record sounds through objects or materials. We started off recording the sound of a calm heartbeat which is an obvious internal body sound, using a contact microphone.

 

We then wanted to record a sound emulating muscle movement and stretching. For this we used a fresh twig. We attached the contact microphone to the twig and started bending the twig to record it's fibres  ripping and twisting, much likes Sébastien's muscles. We had some fantastic sonic results.

 

Next we moved onto the sound of blood being pumped around the body. To record this we decided to use a thin rubber tube, as seen in the picture above, with a tub of water at one end to enable us to suck up water through the tube. We then attached the contact microphone onto the tube and sucked the water up...Again the results were realistic and suited the sound design Dewi and Jay wanted to achieve.

 

During that opening sequence you really feel like you can hear every single part of Sébastien's body stretching and warming-up ahead of his performance.

Image copyright: The Truth Department.

 

 

The next opportunity for interesting sound design was when Sébastien and his accomplice were rehearsing for their extraordinary performance (see above). In this particular sequence the whole scene has been slowed down which really gives us license to be quite abstract with the sound design. Unlike the first opening sequence when SébastienSebastian was stretching in his living room we now wanted to raise the bar in terms of the body being put under stress due to the nature of his performance.  We really wanted to record an internal sound of something else stretching and at the point of snapping or tearing to emulate Seb's muscles screaming at him to stop.  We decided to use an elastic band, which sounds obvious but of course elastic bands don't make all that much noise when being stretched. So the idea Nick had was to play sound through the elastic band and recording it. How did we do that you ask?

 

 

To do this we used a speaker that could play sound through objects or material. For this we used the 'Damson Twist' speaker. This nifty little device is basically a portable Bluetooth speaker which will amplify sound through objects, perfect for our elastic band. We decided to play white noise through the speaker and into the elastic band which at this point was wrapped around the speaker. Nick held the end with the speaker and I pulled on the other end of the elastic band which obviously allowed us to STRETCH the sound!

 

The end result was amazing! It almost sounded like a spooky London Underground train. Using the elastic band was almost like playing an instrument. With different tensions we were able to get different tones.  It was exactly what we wanted and I think it really works well in the film as we can her the tension building and building in Seb's body.

 

We really enjoyed this project because it gave us the chance to show off our skills as creative sound designers and our ability to create bespoke sound effects for projects. We love to go the extra mile to give our clients that extra special sound design to help their projects really stand out.

 

If you're interested in discussing the sound design for your project give us a call on 02920 450 950 or email info@hootstudios.co.uk

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