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Chapter Eleven. Polishing Sound and Images > Making the Magic Invisible

Making the Magic Invisible

Neither movie music nor visual effects should draw attention to themselves. Music should lend an unnoticed emotional dimension to the experience, subtly guiding the audience's emotions. And while movie publicists tout visual effects as “eye candy,” and Dolby Surround Sound can shake you to your bones, all the tricks of the postproduction trade are wasted effort if they draw your attention away from the show's story or informational message.

When you hear that a feature-length motion picture took a year in post, it's generally not because the director, editor, and producer were cutting and recutting the story. No indeed, the most time-consuming part of finishing a movie is getting the technical stuff just right: repairing a dialogue track one syllable at a time, creating the song of a mockingbird that follows the same tune the actor is whistling, delivering on the screenwriter's promise of a spectacular sunset even though the sky was gunmetal gray when the scene was shot, or weaving in music that supports the mood and pacing of the story from one scene to the next.


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