Cox, Geoffrey and Marley, Keith (2007) Cider Makers: an exploration of the relationship between sound and image within documentary filmmaking. In: Sound, Music and the Moving Image, 10-12 September 2007, Institute of Musical Research, Senate House. (Submitted)

This presentation consists of a ten minute contextualisation by Marley and Cox of their aesthetics and working methods drawn on in Cider Makers, a short film which will be shown following this introduction. Its central purpose is to attempt to make apparent the capabilities of the soundtrack as a powerful tool of signification within the field of what may be termed visual ethnography.

It could be argued that the relationship between sound and image in documentary film is stratified, in the sense that sound is often treated in such a way that it becomes subordinate to image. Cider Makers attempts to redress this imbalance through the creative treatment of diegetic sound. In doing so connections are made between the morphologies of different sounds, linked only by their role as signifiers in the film. In order to allow the viewer to concentrate more on the audio elements of the documentary, non-narrative montage editing is used in Cider Makers and is also structured so as to dislocate the viewer from a traditional mode of viewing, where the audience often searches for a cause and effect narrative. The process, or way of working, between image-maker and sound composer, and the importance of their combined efforts to encourage a specific way of experiencing the text, will also be discussed.

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