The Amazing Effect of Effects
Keeping an audience tuned into your message is the great challenge of most videos. There are any number of things that can cause the attention of your audience to wander: the video is too long, the script is boring, the subject is mundane, the music is too repetitive, etc.
As we've talked about before, using music creatively is a great way to keep your audience engaged, but sometimes even music can't do the whole job. That's when the perfectly-placed sound effect comes to the rescue!
While music tells your audience how to feel about what they're seeing, sound effects can create instant situations in the mind of your audience, grabbing attention in a way few other production elements can. Imagine, for instance, a shot of a beautiful country road. Suddenly the audience hears a terrible screech of tires, a loud crash, then total blackness and silence. You've successfully created a terrible car crash scene using nothing but sound.
Sound effects can also be highly effective when used with still photos. The sound of a hospital room, with heart monitors, breathing apparatus and distant announcements juxtaposed with a slow zoom in on a photo of an empty hospital bed can be very powerful in setting the mood for your message. Same with the sound of children playing over a photo of a deserted playground, or a boarded-up school.
Finally, sound effects can help awkward situations. If your raw video of the company president's speech didn't include lots of applause at the end, or laughter for his opening joke, a little support from a sound effects library can really help boost morale and inflate egos.
The point is, experienced producers find ways to communicate with their audiences through a variety of methods. Having a great sound effects library as part of your toolbox is essential if you really want your production to connect with people.
- Doug Wood