Effects of Cinema Sounds on the Perception of the Motion Picture


A big number of studies have investigated the mechanisms of the human nervous system that receive environmental stimuli in order to create what we understand as “reality”. Taking into account the importance of both audition and vision in constructing a common audiovisual reality, it is of great importance to identify the relation and interactions between sound and image in the case of audio-visual arts, like cinema. The object of the present study was to investigate the effects of sounds on the perception of motion pictures by film viewers. One sequence from the film “Elephant” (G. Van Sant, 2003) was selected and two different soundtracks were composed for it. The three different versions of the sequence (one original and two with new soundtracks) were screened to 51 adult students (mean age 21.3 y.o.) who answered a series of questions after each screening. We concluded that different soundtracks change the perception of the audience mainly concerning (a) their ability to recognize the film gender and (b) the emotions that the viewers develop while watching the sequence. On the contrary, the sequence’s crucial moment as well as the in-film time were not found to be affected by the different sound designs. Moreover, the sound design in not unlike to create visual illusions when the source of the sound used is obvious. Finally, factors like the sex and the study field of the audience were among the factors that differentiated our results, thus possibly affecting the viewer’s perception.

Author Information
Andreas G. Anestis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Christos A. Goussios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: NACMFCS2014
Stream: Cultural Studies - General Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the NACMFCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon