Snap Judgement and Powerful Sound Design

Driving around the city for meetings, shoots, and those very important business lunches means I can spend several hours a week in my car.  To pass the time?  Stories, of course.  Snap Judgement is one of my favorite storytelling podcasts.  Now, I'm a producer through and through.  (Cut me and I bleed video).  So, yes, I enjoy the stories themselves.  But dissecting the craft, the ways the story unveils itself, and, yes, the power of the sound design itself?  Well, that just gives me goosebumps.

Video is half sound.  Yes, it really and truly is.  So DO NOT forget your sound design when you craft your next video (or better yet, let us craft it.  We won't forget!)  Sound design is as basic as making sure your interview audio is crisp and clean, and as complex as building layers of effects and composing music to score the emotional weight of a moment.  Bad sound?  Forget it - unless it's clearly home video and extremely compelling or features your own kid, no one wants to watch/hear that thing.  For a business?  Fatal.

Professional sound equipment and a quiet atmosphere are just the beginning.  Choosing a score, a piece of music or two or three, that moves the story along and carries the viewer through the moments is also vital.  A piece of free music that loops (repeats) over and over?  No good.  It has no movement, and without movement you lose your audience.

Nat sound (the clinking of a wine glass, the roar of a machine, etc) adds an element of authenticity and places the viewer firmly in the scene.  Effects can be extremely powerful - the suggestion of a busy street, a restaurant buzzing with excitement, even a non-literal effect like a trumpet for a snore - all of these things do one very important thing.  Support your story, and make sure that your audience truly experiences it and truly remembers it.

So, as Glynn Washington might say, Put on your headphones and tell your friends you are digging the beat and they better not bother you because you are listening to . . . a great video.  (If you don't understand the reference, listen to Snap Judgement.  Now.  Thank me later.)