Completing the World (Why Sound Matters)

Did I watch the latest Star Wars teaser? Nope. I listened to it. The lightsabers buzzing. The TIE fighters swooshing. The blaster rifles pewpewpewing.  The triumphant Wookie yawn-growl-cry thing. And, of course, that score.

It sent shivers down my spine, and it sent me to another world. The iconic sounds transported me back to my 6-year-old self, back when I was recovering from a tonsillectomy, eating nothing but Frosties® as I binge-watched the original Star Wars trilogy.

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But the new teaser did more than transport me to a world I remembered. It transported me to its own world. A world that existed because its world of sound made me believe it was all real.

For the Star Wars movies, sound designer Ben Burtt crafted a world by crafting sound. He created Chewbacca’s voice from bear and walrus vocalizations. The hum of the lightsaber came from waving a microphone in front of a television. On their own, these disparate pieces make little sense. Brought together, they make their very own world of sound. It all becomes real for the audience (including me… and probably you!).

To make a story’s world real, its sound must be crafted intentionally.

At Epipheo, we place a high value on storytelling in our videos. And sound is a critical (and often literal!) storytelling voice. We believe sound tells the audience how to feel. We believe sound completes the worlds we create visually.

If you are trying to tell your story visually, remember the role that sound plays in the world of your story, your idea, and your brand. If you want your thing to stick with your audience, make sure the sounds you tie to your thing are crafted intentionally. Make sure the sounds take your audience to a real world.

Written by Chad Wahlbrink, Sound Team Lead