Early Sound Film Journaling and Essay

Posted: May 7th, 2022

Early Sound Film Journaling and Essay
Principles of Sound Design 2021
Assignment 3: Early Sound Film Journaling and Essay
Assigned: Wk 3 (Feb 2, 2021) Weight: 10% 15%=25% of Final Mark
Due: Wk10 (Mar 30, 2021)
– engage in discussion and debate over the soundtrack featured in a 20th
Century film
– summarize the sonic contents of that film
– describe the contribution to storytelling made by the film soundtrack
– state and defend your opinion as to the relative merits or success of the film
Learning Outcomes Addressed
2. Explain how historical aspects of film soundtrack provide perspective on
current trends.
3. Analyze the components of a film soundtrack, using appropriate terminology.
6. Describe landmark “sound films” and their contributions to the craft.
This is an individual project: every student will submit an essay. However, every
student is expected to participate in the online discussion of the films being
investigated by their peers. This online component will take place in the
Discussions tool of the SLATE home page for this course.
Each student will submit a PDF formatted document entitled
PSD_ESF_[LASTNAME] where [LASTNAME] will be the student’s last name of
academic record.
SLATE will be used for all submissions.
By lottery, each student will pick one film from the following list:
Citizen Kane (’41)
Singin’ In The Rain (’52)
South Pacific (’58)
Touch of Evil (’59)
Lawrence of Arabia (’62)
Hell in the Pacific (’68)
2001: A Space Odyssey
THX1138 (’71)
Solaris (Tarkovsky ’72)
The Exorcist (’73)
Principles of Sound Design 2021
Assignment 3: Early Sound Film Journaling and Essay
Assigned: Wk 3 (Feb 2, 2021) Weight: 10% 15%=25% of Final Mark
Due: Wk10 (Mar 30, 2021)
Earthquake (’74)
The Conversation (’74)
Jaws (’75)
Nashville (’75)
Rocky (’76)
Taxi Driver (’76)
All the President’s Men (’76)
The Deer Hunter (’77)
Raging Bull (’80)
Blow Out (’81)
Das Boot (’81)
The Right Stuff (’83)
Platoon (’86)
The Hunt For Red October (’90)
Note: Students can petition to add to this list another film from the pre-digital era
(released before 1991). Films must be approved by faculty and should be
available on streaming services or rentable through the usual sources.
Each student will watch their film and then engage in an online discussion (on
SLATE) with their peers and, potentially, the instructor of the course. Each
student must make a minimum of three (3) posts to their own discussion topic
(i.e. on their own film) and a minimum of a total of three (3) posts on topics (films)
started by their peers.
All posts and online interaction will be of a constructive nature and good online
etiquette will be observed at all times (no flaming, no ALL CAPS posts, no
quoting of entire posts in replies, etc.).
This online activity will stand for 2/5ths (40%) of the total assignment mark.
Each student will then formulate an opinion piece centered around the following
● In general, and through citing specific examples, how was sound used as
a story-telling and production element in the creation of this film?
● Rate the relative success of the sound track as a story telling element.
Did sound help this movie?
● Comment on the production value of the sound recording, sound editing,
sound design and sound mix, giving consideration to the production era of
Principles of Sound Design 2021
Assignment 3: Early Sound Film Journaling and Essay
Assigned: Wk 3 (Feb 2, 2021) Weight: 10% 15%=25% of Final Mark
Due: Wk10 (Mar 30, 2021)
the film. Remember, this film was created before most films that you
regularly enjoy today. Film sound aesthetics have changed as has the
technology that allows us to create and listen to these soundtracks.
Comparison to similar modern film soundtracks is permitted but should not
be the overriding focus of this section of your essay.
● Your paper should also reference discussion points raised online around
your opinions on this film and whether, in general, consensus or
dissention was achieved.
At all times, remember that the film soundtrack is not just comprised of
The submission, in PDF format, should be 750 – 1000 words in length (3 – 4
pages, double spaced, etc.). Full sentence structure is expected (no point form).
The use of professional grammar and spelling is always considered to be
Submissions will be based upon the following marking scheme:
Online discussion /10
– minimum 3 posts on “own” topic / film
– minimum 3 posts on “others’” topics / films
– good online etiquette
Submitted essay /15
– description of the use of sound in the film
– examples of sound propelling story
– discussion of the relative success of sound in the film
– production value of all sound components, given the era
of the film’s production
– inclusion of opinions and online discussion points of peers
– professional, academic language and formatting used
Total /25

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