Lesson 5 Discovery Activity
Sound and Music

Outside the Theater: Studying Soundís Importance

Soundtracks often carry a movie. Because they can provide a continuous ground (whereas image tracks are edited), they can hide a multitude of cutting-room errors.

Student Materials

Time Estimate

30 minutes


To see how the soundtrack welds a film together, re-watch part of any one of the movies weíve viewed so faróbut this time with the sound off. Then, try the same thing with your favorite television sitcom. This is also a great way to study editing.

After youíve done that, letís extend this experiment in psychological concentration: with the sound still off, watch the film (or the sitcom) and purposely look away from the on-screen speaker. Look at the other people in the shot, not at the focus of attention.


Please post your responses to the following questions on the class message board.

  1. How would you describe the difference between viewing something with sound and picture and viewing something with picture only?
  2. Did you notice any differences between the editing of the class film and the editing of the sitcom?
  3. When you tried the second part of this experiment, what did you notice that you hadnít seen before?