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11th Hour
Film: 01 Jul 2007
By: HamiltonSterling


http://11thhourfilm.com

How do you synthesize the sound of hundreds of tiny insect feet rapidly descending a blade of grass? Hamilton Sterling used Kyma to accomplish the feat for 11th Hour, Leonardo Di Caprio's feature-length documentary on the global environment described by Variety's Justin Chang as "a ruminative essay on what it means to be human in a scarce world." According to Sterling, "I quite liked using various granularized samples in a sequencer with a quick tempo to mimic the tiny feet of insect colonies rapidly moving up and down a blade of grass.


Discussion (Descriptions, reviews, discussion):

According to Sterling, "I quite liked using various granularized samples in a sequencer with a quick tempo to mimic the tiny feet of insect colonies rapidly moving up and down a blade of grass. This sound is then mirrored with different samples in high speed shots of modern urban life. I also used [Pete Johnston's CrossFilter] with a live mic [input] and a didgeridoo sample response to create disturbingly human sounds of environmental destruction. These were then passed through resonating filters to stretch the sounds into a tonal effect. By sheer happenstance, these always matched the harmonic center of the composer's music. This was a good thing because I was working under extreme time pressure! One of the interesting things about working on a documentary, is that contrary to expectation, they're just as hard to sound-edit as a feature film. Though, because of the nature of the often quick cuts, there's no space to let the background ambiances play. So you have to create the spaces and feel over a series of shots, which can create elisions and phrasing that in turn tie ideas together - a great way to build emotional weight. Being allowed this more free-form phrasing reminded me of my days playing free-form jazz. Very satisfying."


 
 
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