SOUND DESIGN FOR FILM. Tobias Gundorff Boesen: “Ghost” (interview – part 3)

maja@tnf: Regarding the significance of non-verbal elements in storytelling, we shouldn’t overlook the role of sound in your film. Please share a few details with us about the sound design process for “The Ghost”.

Tobias Gundorff Boesen: I worked with Thomas Arent, who I known from Viborg. He wanted to use only “close” sounds – sonic close-up centering on certain sounds, as the mind and senses do when we’re really taking something in. This was very much in sync with my vision of a subjective, intuitive film, where we really needed to be in the world, experiencing it from the characters’ outlook. The whole world of “Ghost” reflects how the characters feel, so we needed the closeness and focus to be present in the sound design. He spent so much time finding specific things and objects to record, that would give him exactly the sounds he needed.

At some point I wanted to use music, as I feel really comfortable with it, and think that it can lend structure to sequences, as the edited film follows the music’s emotional hills and valleys… Think of music videos – How many of them make sense? But just insert music, and all of a sudden we have structure.

However Thomas talked me out of this, and I’m very happy we ended up focusing on the sound design, as it’s more of an experiment the whole way through. Music would have made it a whole other film (perhaps even give it a more emotional dynamic) but it would have sabotaged the intention of the experiment. Besides, I love what he ended up doing; he’s very talented.

maja@tnf: Does sound play a role in indicating whose point of view your film’s action is shown from?
Tobias Gundorff Boesen: I almost answered this previously. Our “close” sounds reflect the focus of the characters or the viewer. Whatever’s heard is what we focus in on, almost like tunnel-vision. This works when trying to portray the mental state of mind of a character, or just enhance the film’s visceral and sensual character: It’s about experiencing, and contact with emotions and impressions.

Interview in parts

Full interview

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