Grades 6 through 8 are currently exploring the world of movie trailers, soundtracks and sound effects!
Students are working in groups of 2 or 3 (although I do have a few solo directors!) to recreate the music and sounds in a movie trailer of their choice. They are responsible for adding music (to create, enhance or change the mood of the trailer), and sound effects. Some of these added sound effects may be imported and downloaded, but I’m challenging students to create their own effects using common items and their creativity.
We watched a great Ted talk about sound design, and in this talk, the designer spoke about using reverberation, silence, and creativity to “deceive” the viewer and make them hear whatever it is that you have created. Some fun examples he used were: using the shaking of sheets/kitchen gloves to create the sound of the wings of a bird; breaking celery and frozen lettuce to make the sound of breaking bones; having a friend do a cannonball into a pool in order to make the sound of a submarine propeller.
I’m encouraging students to have fun and create the trailer, while thinking about the power that sounds can have on any viewer/listener. Students are paying attention to the movement in the trailer and finding songs that match that mood, pace and tempo. Dynamics can also be critical in a trailer: when should something be soft vs. loud?
Students seem genuinely engaged and they will be presenting their final trailers in a few weeks time. Stay tuned! Some future sound designers, movie directors and composers may be emerging…