Essential Elements of Film Sound 1

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311EFS1 credit 2 30 hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 28 to 38 hours of self-study English winter

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Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

This course is a complete overview of the fundamental elements of film sound from the filmmaker's perspective, meaning we will investigate and discuss topics primarily from the viewpoint of how sounds are used in film and why. From theory through practical application, all aspects and functions of sound in film will be examined in detail, with an extra focus on the specific issues and challenges you will face making your films this year.

Students should emerge from this course with a basic understanding of how to conceptualise, prepare and create sound for a film from script through production and post-production.

Mode of study

Twelve lectures with extensive use of film clips to illustrate all points.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

No requirements for registration. Course is required for APP directors.

Course contents

Introduction and discussion of basic film sound concepts, properties and aesthetics of sound, and theory and elements of the film soundtrack.

Discussion of the actual film production process at FAMU.

The voice in cinema: the many possible uses of dialogue and narration/voiceover.

Understanding ambient sound: the importance of location.

Working with music (and composers).

Uses of media and devices such as telephone, radio, TV, computer, etc.

Working with actors from a sound perspective.

Understanding the tasks and responsibilities of the location sound recordist.

Post-production: sound design and mixing of film soundtracks.

Many clips will be shown from a broad variety of source films, across the spectrum from classic mainstream Hollywood and international films to more obscure avant-garde and experimental films.

Recommended or required reading

Sound Theory, Sound Practice by Rick Altman

Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen by Michel Chion

The Voice in Cinema by Michel Chion

[and any other book by Chion]

Assessment methods and criteria

Attendance and participation. Short test and written assignment at the end of the semester.


This is a mainly non-technical course, meaning we will not discuss which microphones to use or on-set techniques – that happens in my other course: Technical Sound Production

Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Mon 17:20–18:55 George CREMASCHI Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans