Top Tips: Have your film sounding pitch perfect

One Month Countdown + How to sound it out

Hey Filmmakers,

The clock is officially ticking! We’ve started receiving some early entries, and with just over a month until your films are due in before the September 23rd deadline, it’s certainly time to get stuck into editing and preparing first drafts for feedback (that can be from friends, teachers, family, or even from the Nextwave team!). That’s all to give you enough time to re-edit, capture more footage if needed, and have a final product you couldn’t be more proud of.

We know the all-nighter edit sessions might seem inevitable though, so we’ll keep bringing you our top tips in the coming weeks as we head towards the deadline. Remember all our previous newsletters are archived HERE, with piles of advice, tips and resources. 

Today, we’re talking sound!

Top Tips

Play by the rules
Copyright law exists for a reason, and us creative-types have to help each other out. It’s important that artists are paid for their work, be that photography, music, painting and drawing, or film. That’s why when you’re making a film with no budget, it’s a huge help that so many musicians have made their music free to use in the public domain, check out websites like the free music archive, or do your own google search for “copyright free music that sounds like _____” if there’s a certain artist whose sound you like. We have heaps more resources here.

DIY time!
Or, if you want something completely unique, and custom made for your film, try your hand at composing an original piece of music. You might know some instruments, get help from the music department at school, or even go digital and try making something withgarageband or LMMS.

Listen out
If you’ve got the time, one great way to up the production value on your short film is by including sound effects. From squeaky doors and spooky footsteps, to birds singing and relaxing rain, sound effects can bring the world of your film to life. Play through your film again, and make a note where you think a sound effect might make your film feel even more realistic! Sites like Sound Bible have great free sound effects.

Or, go vintage!
Perhaps your dialogue came out less than stellar, or you want to bring a completely different vibe to your film. We love old silent films, which had slides between shots that showed what the characters were saying. Check out old Charlie Chaplain shorts for an example!

Remember to play by your own rules, and experiment with all sorts of ideas. You can email us for advice, or do your own research by watching Youtube tutorials, or reading sites like WikiHow. Sound is half of the audiences experience watching your film, so invest your time! 

Best of luck filmmakers, as we count down from one month to go! That’s still plenty of time even if you’re just getting started. 

Happy filmmaking!

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