Bovill, Michael (2012) Using Ambience as an Emotional Tool in Film. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Although there are existing examples of ambient tracks being used in films to elicit an emotional response there is very little research or information on how best to write them. In this thesis a study is undertaken to find whether a selection of ambient sounds: Traffic, construction, birdsongs, crow squawks, sea and rain, all found to be best suited for a number of different film environments, can be manipulated and edited to, firstly, evoke an emotional response and secondly, to see whether this response can be affected through the changing of variables within the ambient sound. A number of variables were established for the selected ambiences; these were chosen to give the greatest chance of changing the emotional response of the ambient sound through their manipulation. These variables include delay times and density as well as some others specific to each ambience. A number of tests were carried out to discover the type of emotions being evoked from the different ambiences as well as the strength of the perceived emotion. The results show that all of the selected ambiences evoke a number of emotions, with the ambience of Sea creating the strongest feedback as well as the largest variation of type and strengths over the different variable edits. The ambiences of Squawks and rain were found to be much less efficient at eliciting emotions however there was some variation in the levels as the variables were changed. The ambience of birdsongs was found to be the least efficient with very little variation in the emotional response; it does however show that using real birdsongs elicits a much higher emotional reaction than manmade or edited birdsongs. A number of interesting results have been gained through this research, particularly in showing the emotional impact that ambiences can achieve, and has helped in opening an area of research yet to be properly looked into.

Final_Thesis_-_Nov_12.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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