In our busy lives we often forget to stop and listen to the wonderful sounds our ancestors heard everyday. Our lives are now filled with the constant hum of a car going by or the constant drum of airplanes overhead among other noises. In the video package “Sounds of Silence” Gordon Hampton encourages people to experience nature and all of its magnificent sounds. Hampton shows though, that even where he wishes his square inch of silence is, he can’t escape the sounds of an industrialized nation.
The package begins with quick detailed shots showing scenes of a city. Accompanying these shots are sound bites and the quick cuts between the clips makes the viewer feel as though the entire sequence is chaotic. These fast shots in the beginning serve to compress time in an effective manner as the entire sequence only takes a few seconds total, but there are several clips in the sequence. The cuts then become slower as the sequences become more focused on nature in an effort to highlight the tranquility and peaceful sounds of the natural world. The shots however, are still faster than what a normal video would be and it’s because the creator is simply using the visuals to allow the viewer to recognize what the sounds are. Throughout the entire package, the focus is entirely on the sound bites and the video clips serve only to make the sounds recognizable to the viewer. By doing these short clips and then making the clips longer when Hampton is talking, the viewer is able to see everything through Hampton’s point of view. Also, because the focus on sound rather than sight per say, the video is very unique because normally the focus of videos is on the actual images rather than the sound bites.
Surprisingly, there were only a few wide shots or medium shots in the entire package. Most were short detail shots that focused on where a particular sound originated. The producer only used wide or medium shots when Hampton was in the frame; generally to place him in a setting or show him walking along a specific path. In fact the only time the producer shows a close up on Hampton is when Hampton is in his “square inch of silence” and the producer captured the emotions on Hampton’s face as he listens to the sounds of nature. Every other shot that focused on the sounds of nature was a detail close up shot though or at most a medium shot.
By using these shots though, differentiating between sequences was very easy. The opening sequence/introduction occurred very quickly before moving onto the subject of the piece – Hampton. The first sequence was very quick with several short clips and fast cuts, again focusing on the sounds more than the actual images. After the first sequence, the shots become longer as Hampton is now the focal point....