Posted in Writing

Summary: Chapters 6 & 7

Chapter 6: Sound

Let Sound Lead Story

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to determine what your soundtrack is

Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sound

  • “Put simply, diegetic sound comes from sources that are visible on-screen (or implied by action off-screen) and that comes from the physical world” (Blazer, 89).
  • “Sounds described as non-diegetic are sounds whose source neither is visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the actions” (Blazer, 89).

Sound Effects

  • Restraint is key in picking your sound effects
    • There are a plethora of sounds that can be used but use too many effects and they lose weight.

Music as sound effects

  • A lot of times you can use sound effects that are derived from your soundtrack.
    • For example: “the famous screeching violin in Hitchcock’s Psycho shower scene” (Blazer, 92).


  • “More than any other aspect of film, music can determine the emotional tenor of story, set rhythm for scenes, and geode an audience’s journey” (Blazer, 93).

Score to “theme”

  • Go back to the beginning of your film. What is the theme or the emotional tenor of it?
    • “This stage is called building a temp (temporary) track” (Blazer, 93).
  • Don’t get too attached to some of the music though, because sometimes you are unable to get the rights to certain songs.
    • Be open-minded

Consider the music of “silence”

  • “Atmospheric music, sometimes represented by a stripped-down hum from your soundtrack or a subtle rhythmic drone, can give a scene added personality that the audience may not even perceive” (Blazer, 94).

Score against

  • This means to add sound effects or music that completely contradict what is happening on stage.
    • For example, during a very brutal fight scene, a happy song is playing.
      • If done properly can make your audience feel uncomfortable.


  • Don’t feel obligated to use dialogue.
  • If you aren’t able to convey your story using only visuals you aren’t trying hard enough.
  • If, however, you have tried as hard as you can and dialogue is still needed, here are a few tips on writing proper dialogue:
  1. “…match every line of dialogue to the personality of the character” (Blazer, 95).
  • You wouldn’t want one of your more egotistical characters going about the day without trying to get noticed.
  1. Your dialogue should be as natural as possible
  • A lot of the time your dialogue can be derived from conversations you hear on the street.
  1. “Use dialogue to set the mood of your scenes” (Blazer, 96).
  • In more tense moments use short, clipped sentences
  • In more lighthearted moments go overboard with the details
    • If you’re excited about something more likely than not you say everything you can about it.

Chapter 7: Design Wonderland

Designing the Rules

  • Establish a time and place to create an interesting and believable animated world.
    • Then word to define the physical, social, and visual laws that exist there” (Blazer, 102).

Your World’s Time and Place

  • Make sure the environment you have created does not interfere with your protagonist’s true goal in the story.
    • Unless the environment is supposed to stop him from reaching said goal.

Your World’s Physical Laws

  • Don’t create new physical laws just because you think they are cool, create them because they are meaningful to the story.
    • For example, the physical laws of a story taking place in NYC will be different than the physical laws of a story taking place on the Moon.
      • It’s up to you to decide the differences.

Your World’s Social Laws

  • You follow the social laws of your world every day, why not create a new set of social laws for your own story.
    • For example, an episode of Rick & Morty has Rick and Morty go to a planet where once a year they partake in a purge (like the movie).
      • That doesn’t happen on Earth, it’s a different social law.

Your World’s Visual Laws

  • “The success of your animated story depends on the tone set by your visual world. Space, line, shape, color, contrast, and texture are all visual aspect you can create laws for as a means to enhance your narrative and distinguish your story from others” (Blazer, 107).

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