To summarize this course I want to do a analyzes on a clip from ‘There will be blood’ by using different terms and theory’s we’ve learnt throughout the semester.
The clip, I think, is not only aesthetically beautiful but is a very powerful scene which I have gone back to watch many times during this semester. Not only are the actors performance exceptionally good, but the use of scoring and sound design combined with really good cinematography is undeniable.
When it comes to the scoring,there’s only a minimum use of acoustic instruments, strings and piano. The strings are tension triggering and work as emotional guidance. The pulse is high which heightens the excitement and arousal. We know from the scoring that something really dramatic is about to happen. As Eli, the first person we see in the picture, is getting closer to Daniel the music intensifies in volume and pulse. The music is shut down by a low disharmonic chord on the piano, and then it is silent until a moment into the fight. As the score is intense and with a high pulse our bodies physical response will be a higher pulse and stress, the emotion will follow making us feel stressed and excited. The scoring in this clip fills the role of a psychological guidance. It’s intention is to make us feel something, and setting a mood for the scene. It is also used in a structural way, smoothing over cuts in the scene. As the music continues during the fight it intensifies until the point where we know Daniel won and Eli has given up. The same piano chord comes in again and after that the music is silent, which I think accentuate the seriousness in the situation leaving us in silence and giving us the space to let the scene sink in. The use of silence like this brings leaves the room for the scene to grow after Daniel has walked away and therefore adds drama and importance to the fight.
The sound design is very ‘realistic’ and not as exaggerated as other fights in Hollywood movies usually are. This adds a certain kind of awkwardness and uneasy feeling. It feels like it’s a real fight, which makes it uncomfortable to watch. The first slap is pretty high in volume though which contributes to the feeling of discomfort. In the beginning there’s only the sound effects of the oil and the music. But as Eli gets closer and closer to Daniel we can hear his footsteps as well as the environment with the wind and machines, ambience noises. The fact that his footsteps comes in as he is approaching Daniel heightens the significance of the scene and makes us understand that some kind of settlement is about to happen.
The scoring is a non-diegetic one and functions as cues and guidance. It adds value to the scene and anchors the significance of the event. If the scene were to be played with less intense and dramatic music, Eli’s walk up to Daniel could then have be interpreted as two friends meeting in the field. There are not many clues in the visual image as to this is a dramatic encounter, the music is telling us this and therefore anchor meaning to the clip. The whole scene is materialized through the sound effects and sound design, and it is an usual way to score these kinds of scenes. Since everything is made in such a high quality way the whole scene it is really believable and engages the audience and I would reckon most people watching this would have a significant emotional response.