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Rendering: The use of sounds to convey the feelings or effects associated with the situation on screen - often in opposition to faithful reproduction of sounds that might be heard in the situation in reality.  

Rendering conveys a feeling associated with the sound source. Shots of a bear do not automatically convey the bears strength, its odor, weight, and animality but sounds aid in rendering all these qualities. Bart, the big bear in Annoud's The Bear made an impression of a crushing mass largely from cavernous footsteps, we heard in synchrony with the monster's stride. (The animal's sounds was recreated in a Foley studio.)  

Rendered sounds convey tactile sensations into auditory sensations. The sounds tell the story of a whole rush of composite sensations and not just the auditory reality of the event. For example, sound accompanying a fall is often a great crash, conveying weight, violence, and pain.  

In lived experience: "It is morning; I open the shutters of my bedroom window. All at once I am hit with images that stun me, a violent sensation of light on my corneas, the heat of the sun if it's a nice day out, and outdoor noises that get louder as the shutters open. All this comes upon me as a whole, not dissociated into separate elements."  

On screen, the audiovisual channel has to do all the work of transmitting this scene: the filmmaker must "render" them by sole means of image and sound. In lived experience the changes in volume when we open the shutters are progressive and relative, even modest. Cinema systematically exaggerates the contrast of intensity. (This device of exaggerating contrast is a kind of white lie committed even in films that use unprocessed production sound.)  

The film spectator recognizes sounds to be truthful, effective and fitting not so much if they reproduce what would be heard in the same situation in reality, but if they render (convey, express) the feelings associated with the situation. (This occurs at a barely conscious level for film viewers have a fairly crude and mediate understanding of cinema's figurative nature.)  

Edited excerpt Chion, Michel: AudioVision   

Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen  is  available at Internet book stores as  Amazon books   Highly recommended


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