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Sound Design

Posted 6 years ago.

The following post contains spoilers about Dunkirk (2017).

So about a week or two ago I watched Dunkirk (2017) with my mother. Well, when I say "watched with my mother" I mean that we bought tickets that were on different rows, as it was packed. And rightly so, it was one of the best war films I have ever seen, not that that list is very long though. Actually, thinking about it, I could count all the war films I've seen on one hand.

  • Colditz
  • Fury. I'll talk about this later in another rant because I have a few words to say about my experiences when watching that film.
  • Dunkirk (2017)

    Anyways, that's beside the point. I really liked this movie. It was a tense, taught thriller all the way through that was generally realistic (bar a few exceptions which I may talk about in another post) with good acting, good location, well shot and more. It was everything I'd come to expect after watching some of Christopher Nolan's other work. The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises both had a similar feel to Dunkirk, in that they were high action and very well made thrillers. They also both had Hans Zimmer at the helm, as the lead music composer of the films. And that is what I want to go into with this blog post, about the effect that a well constructed musical score can do to a film.

Hans Zimmer has created the score for some of the greatest epics of the last decade including Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Thin Red Line, Inception and Interstellar. He has also worked with some less serious films such as The Lion King, Kung Fu Panda, Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy and Johnny English. I think just his impressive list of musical scores to his name, which I did admittedly lift from his Wikipedia page, shows what an incredible person he is.

If you haven't guessed yet, I think that Hans Zimmer is great. I like loads of the work that he's done, especially the OST for The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk. Hans is our modern day Stanley Kuberick for audio, the way that the crescendo of the ticking continuously increases throughout the piece, but without over fully reaching a climax is one of the most incredible sounds that I have ever heard. Yes, Dunkirk is beautifully shot and incredibly acted, but the score is what made the movie a classic, in my opinion. Not only was the score impressive, but the sound effects worked wonders on the piece, turning scenes that were shocking into those that made you jump out of your seat, such as the gunfire within the first scene. On my first viewing, I literally jolted in my seat as I was not expecting such a loud sound to come out of nowhere. That is how you do a proper jumpscare. Media studies students, take note.

I've been putting off this post for about a month now, mainly because bashblog doesn't like saving posts meaning that my work was deleted twice. :( But I'm back now, hopefully I'll have more motivation to post interesting things. I started my first job recently so I should get some more fun stories from that.



Author's Note: Since writing this post back in September 2017, I have since migrated from bashblog over to BLUDIT. Hopefully I'll actually be more motivated to write new posts, but we'll see.

Author's Note 2: I've done a lot more tinkering with [], now using my own software written in PHP. (2020-10-11)