From Horror to Science Fiction

The science fiction genre saw a shift following the film Alien (Scott, 1979), which “launched science fiction cinema into the darkest recesses of space with the warning, “In space no one can hear you scream”” (Whittington 129). Alien incorporated both aspects from the science fiction genre and horror genre “These genres collided on nearly every level of the production, from the narrative, which begins as an exploration mission to investigate an acoustical beacon but abruptly turns into a mission of survival, to the production design, which offers renderings of speculative technologies of the future set against primordial, almost dreamlike organic masses” (Whittington 129). The affect on sound design regarded that of “the generic exchange” which “transformed the sound track of Alien into a kind of sonic organism, which connected deeply with filmgoers on a conscious and subconscious level” (Whittington 130). Foley effects could then be “pushed into the realm of the supernatural with only the slightest urgings” (Whittington 145). This combination of techniques from both horror and science fiction then “allowed sound to move into the physical landscapes of the imagery presented on the screen into psychological landscapes of the characters and subsequently the filmgoers” (Whittington 145).  For my final sound design project, which I based off the Arcade Fire song “My Body is a Cage”, I intend on incorporating both natural and expressionistic sound effects. For parts of the project I intend on using parts of the song, specifically the line “My body is a”, and once the image of the bird cage is shown, I plan on using the sound of a rusted cage door opening and closing. My project entails the relationship of a man and woman who have been torn apart by heroine. For part of my project I also intend on incorporating bits and pieces of conversation from the first point in which they met, before heroine affected either of their lives.

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