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Sound Design & Science Fiction Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292714319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292714311
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Sound Design is a major achievement in film studies that should be widely read as a general introduction to the underappreciated art and practice of sound. Whittington makes a compelling case for the centrality of sound to the modern Hollywood aesthetic. While surveying the evolution of sound technology, post-production practices and design in seminal science-fiction films of the last forty years, he concurrently provides a comprehensive introduction to the various components of the soundtrack and how they create meaning. He carefully defines terms such as Foley and source music not just in a glossary but as they arise, in such a way that the book can serve as a textbook on sound design in general, not just on the one genre...given the brilliant research that has been devoted to the transition to sound, I am particularly excited that Whittington has chosen to focus on more recent developments." Elisabeth Weis, Screen 2008, issue 49

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cornelius Z_G on 22 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I run a degree in Sound Design in London and this book has gradually pushed its way to the front of the reading list for my students. It is very succeeds at marrying the development of sound recording and post production technology with the conceptual role sound has played in film - using a series of well known Sci-Fi as case studies. The book actually is not really about Science Fiction per se - that is just the hook that the author uses to hang his ideas. The language is sophisticated and clear, and the overall approach informative and practical. You'll learn from this as a practitioner AND as a theorist. The chapter on THX-118 is the best explanation of technological determinism I've read. Essential for sound students.
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Very poorly written and extremely vague throughout. When talking about Terminator 2 on page 214 "It is not surprising that the score for Terminator 2:Judgement Day is aggressively conceptual, recalling militaristic tempos and sparse variations" however he cites no specific examples and just expects the reader to take is word as gospel. Rather than provide clear research about what decisions were made and why he seems to look at a sound and then fumbles around, looking to justify it in some way and make out that there was significant thought involved. Still on Terminator 2, Page 216 "Heavy metal music is associated with John Connor as a rebellious youth. In particular, the song "You Could Be Mine" by Guns N' Roses can be heard on his boom box as he flees his foster home on his dirt bike with his friend. The lyrics of the song punctuate the underlying conflict of the film, specifically that outside forces are stalking the young John Connor". There no evidence for this at all! Perhaps it's what Wittington interprets from the scene, but he's failed to actually give any proof for that being the case, weakening his entire argument. This happens throughout the book and as such I struggled to take anything he said seriously.

Buy Sound Design by Sonnenschein or The Sound Effects Bible if you want to learn something useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mattp on 4 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in film sound history and more detailed looks at the most influential films, with backgrounds on the industry climate at key stages of sound development and recession.

Definatley an essencial book to have in your collection.
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By George Adamides on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really helpful and easy read, engaging author.
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By Alejandro Bonatto on 4 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a good one
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