How sound design shapes the audience's response in Baz Luhrmann's Australia

Damian Candusso, Jen Thompson

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The US Academy of Motion Picture Awards breaks down film sound into discrete areas of technical proficiency: sound mixers and re-recording mixers, aesthetic sound editing or design, and sound effects editing. Unsurprisingly, when the audience is asked to report on the sound of a movie, the elements most commented on are the volume and the music. Little critical attention has been given to the use of sound in the hands of the sound designer. In this paper, Damian Candusso, Sound Effects Editor on Australia, peels back the layers of sound and effects that he used to design the dreamtime and landscape sequences for the film Australia. The concept of the ‘objective correlative’ (Eliot 1950) describes the way in which the sound designer assembles the auditory elements then acts as a creative catalyst in synthesising these into an emotional effect. This offers a rare insight into the way in which the audience is positioned by the subliminal artistry of sound design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of the Image
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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