Sound Effects Story (3 1/2 stars)
Tell a story using nothing but sound effects. There can be no verbal communication, only sound effects. Use at least five different sounds that you find online. The story can be no longer than 90 seconds. Another example (by a UMW student): http://ds106.us/wp-content/audio/audio_story.mp3
Story Behind the Story
I absolutely love working with my character and in every other assignment she has been the focus or made an appearance, so in this one, I wanted to mix it up a little. Below are the different aspects of Stella’s story if you would like to browse them before entering this new scene.
The setting is a dark apartment, more specifically, Stan Reins’, private detective, apartment. It is late, and he has been almost all night trying to crack Stella Vaughn. Papers are scattered across the table and floor, dark circles embed themselves under his eyes, but he is relentless. So far, Reins has yet to find any physical evidence that Stella is harming her clients. She leaves no trace. He has testimonies, suspicions, faked documents, letters, blackmail, the list goes on, but none of it ever ties back to Stells.
It is about 3 in the morning. Stan is hovering over his coffee maker while he stares blankly at the wall. The end spurts are so sudden that he is snapped back to reality. In his slippers and robe, comfy but still so perfectly worn, with a bow symmetrically holding the robe in place, he shuffles back to the table, pulls out his chair and begins flipping through the same papers he has been looking at for the past 7 hours. Nothing. He has nothing. The ticking clock looming over his failure, reminding him that he doesn’t have eternity to nail her to the wall. Reminding him how many hours he has put into this case.
But then….no, he is just tired. There it is again. He hears a fainter clicking. Maybe it is a sign that he needs to give up for the night. He gets up and starts to close shop for the night, but before he can turn the lamp off, he slows his pace. Someone is trying to break into his apartment.
This can’t be Stella. She wouldn’t be this dumb. His focus is so set on Stella walking through that door. This will be his break. She finally lost her touch.
In the midst of his contemplation, the door slams open and someone immediately starts throwing punches. Stan starts fighting back. He has no idea who it is or why he is fighting them. Finally, he throws them off, looks down and sees….George?!
George is the character that Stan has interacted with most. He used to be one of Stella’s clients. Why they hell was he trying to break into his apartment?!
Here is the story behind George breaking into Stan’s apartment. Once Stan has George pinned, George starts to cry, saying that Stella has him all kinds of confused.
Stella wants George on her side so that she can finally figure out what Stan is up to. She knows that George is the weakest link. For the past two weeks, she has gone to visit George at his apartment to show that she “cares” about his wellbeing. In reality she has been manipulating George into turning against Stan, feeding him lies about how certain people will cause a relapse. In the past, when things get out of control, George goes into a frenzy. Stella was counting on some kind of reaction.
Stella always has others do her dirty work.
Narrate the Process
When I finally finished this assignment, I expected it to be at least 5 minutes long. I had completely forgotten that I made a 1:13 sound effect story. I spent so much time finding the right noises, adjusting volumes, layering the sounds correctly, that I expected to have this over the top masterpiece. While I am not at all disappointed in my outcome, I did have this feeling of “that’s it.” when it ended. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this sound effect story.
I started with the ticking clock. I decided I wanted that to be the base of my story. I made everything else fall into that. I always feel like noir has this race against time feeling. At some point someone will get caught or murdered. It is not a matter of if but when and that is what I wanted to encompass with the clock noise.
I had to physically walk through my apartment to map out what kind of noises I would need and where they would fall. From that it was just a matter of finding the sounds. A lot of time was spent listening and re-listening to what I had made. I couldn’t just look at it and know it would turn out well. At one point I even felt a little like Stan. I made coffee, sat at the kitchen table and poured over my computer trying to find an answer. Luckily, I avoided someone breaking into my apartment.
It was a lot of cutting and softening sounds to get the right story.