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Sorry if this is the wrong place for a question....
I'm not a subscriber to your mailing list, but
was hoping to be able to get a cool answer to
a bit of a question. If you could send me replies
to this at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd be quite grateful.
Subject: Question About Sound Difference In British and American Film/TV
Organization: Computer Science House @ RIT
I have noticed a big difference in the Sound-style or Sound-quality
in British and American productions. Let me try to explain the
difference I'm refering to.
When I watch a British film or television show, there is a cluttered,
crowdedness to the Sound. Even the silences are tensely jittering
with noises. In American films and television shows, most of the
silence is very peaceful (even laugh tracks let the silence show
Two striking examples:
The movies of Kenneth Branagh(sp?):
I'm not sure 'Dead Again' was made in America, but it
has the American-style of sound I'm trying to point out.
The sound is in accordance with the feel of the film. The
sound seems defined almost by the film. In tense scenes
there is tense (but not jittering) silence or tense (but
not overbearing) music or some vocal that is inside the
overall feeling of the film at that point.
I'm not sure 'Peter's Friends' was made in the UK, but it
has the British-style of sound I'm trying to point out.
The sound is almost an entity of its own. It adds to the
film, but it tries to stretch past it. It falls out of
the edges of the film. There are very few points in that
movie where there aren't people chattering. And the
chattering is important dialogue, but the tone is not
in the same melody that the visual and plot are. The visuals
and plot are on the same plane, but the sound is all over
the place. 'Cacophonous' comes to mind.
'This Film Is On' by R.E.M.:
One of the segments in this is the band playing on MTV unplugged.
The song they do is filled with nifty percussion, light strings,
airy vocals, and negative space.
Another segment is the band playing a very similar song on
a British night show. The song they do is filled with nifty
percussion, light strings, airy vocals, and '*friction* in
the "silent" parts'.
I can't really explain the difference any better. I listen
to the MTV song and watch 'Dead Again' and when I'm through,
I feel like my ears have done some work, but have had their
needed rest, too. I listen to the other song and watch
'Peter's Friends' and I feel like my ears have done some work,
but even when they haven't done lots of work, they've never
quite been able to settle into rest.
This same effect can be seen in comparing the effect of Audio between
"Monty Python" and "Saturday Night Live", between "BBC News" and
"CNN", and every place I turn.
Now, for the question (finally, eh?)...
Is this difference I'm experiencing:
a) A difference in style
b) A difference in equipment
c) Some combination of the above
d) Just in my head (and several others I've discussed it with)
e) Some combination of the above
Thanks in advance,