If you’re a first-time filmmaker you may not have the budget to create and get hold of top quality sound effects, but there is a way to create such effects from the comfort of your own home. The following article explores the common sound effects from the 5 most common film genres and outlines how you can recreate them from home for your video production:
1. The Horror Flick
Your token horror film is going to need some classic DIY sound effects. You can create the sound of eerie footsteps by putting two shoes together and slowly tapping the heels together then the toes. Try using different styles of shoes in different acoustic areas to create varying sounds. You might also want to go a bit Amityville Horror with a plague of insects in your horror film, which you can recreate by gently humming against a piece of wax paper that has been wrapped around an everyday comb.
2. The Spaghetti Western
No good western is complete without cowboys riding horse-back. Strangely the Monty Python lads had it right all along, by using two halves of a coconut shell you can create a very realistic audio interpretation of horses riding. Eventually your cowboys are going to need to rest up by the campfire. To create the sound of a crackling fire you’ll just need to crumple cling film or wax paper to your hearts content.
3. The Heartfelt Romance
Every romantic film whether it’s a romantic comedy or a chick flick needs that big blockbuster kiss. Now you could recreate such audio by wooing your sound technician, but that might not always be an option… Upon better judgement or just after bitter sound technician rejection you can always get acquainted with your forearm. Smooching a bit of your arm will create just as good of an effect. Besides you’re too good for that techie anyway.
4. The Action Adventure
Action adventures are all about one thing – action. Sadly you can’t really recreate the sound of a building exploding at home, but you can handle all those jaw-dropping fight scenes. Warning: this one won’t please the vegetarians. By punching a good piece of raw meat you can capture a similar sound to man on man combat. If you’re scenes are particularly violent you can even recreate the sound of breaking bones by breaking and snapping carrots and celery. When you’ve finished beating up meat and killing vegetables you may want to apologise to the vegetarian community at large.
5. The Documentary
When you’re doing a documentary you want to make sure your sound effects represent the scenes on screen from the weather to roaming interviews. A good way to recreate rolling thunder and stormy weather is to fill a good sized cardboard box full of conkers/balls and slowly rotate it to get the right sound, it’s rather genius really. If you’ve filmed in snowy or rocky regions you may need to recreate the sound of walking through those areas. To do so just run down to your local store get a load of cat litter, throw it on the ground and walk all over it.
There you have it, your essential guide to the most common sound effects from an array of genres. By following these sound effects tips you can create good quality sound effects for your video production without having to fork out the big bucks.