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Have any of you gotten to a point where you have spent a day on a scene and you listen down to it at the end of the night and there is just something missing and you don't know what it is? Even when you leave it on the board overnight and come back to it the next morning?
What do you guys do?
I'm right now working on a dialogue scene which gets intense and I want to add in subliminal sounds in their environment (posh office building) which add to the tension of the scene, and it doesn't quite feel complete to me, yet.
(I know these kinds of questions are better answered if you were able to hear the scene and see the video, but I can't do that at the moment)
Basically what I want to know is what you guys do to decide you are done with a scene and that it's time to move on?
My advice is to leave it alone for a while. Come back to it in a few days (if possible) and revisit it again. Sometimes you can get too "close" to a work and forget what made it interesting in the first place. Go do something else, work on some other scene, or just do a stream-of-consciousness perusal through your library for interesting sounds; something may spark your imaginiation.
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There's a great brief scene in Nolan's insomnia where all the sounds of the police station are heightened for Pacino's character due to his increasingly neurotic state of mind, might help inspire some ideas?
I always find the more ears the better. Play the scene for someone. Maybe not even a sound person. THis question is related to the story telling question that is on SSD right now. Maybe there is a moment in the story that is not being addressed or supported.
On one of my first films there was a shot of a missing/stolen engagement ring that is suddenly revealed. It is dropped and spins while everyone watches. I put together a design heavy spin sound with an s-ton of whooshes and such, but the scene just wasn't hitting right. Played it for my girlfriend (now wife) and she immediately said, needs vocal reactions. Once I put in some over the top gasps, the scene rocked. Didn't even need the heavy sound design stuff.
I sometimes use time as a cut off point. If something is not working I just move on to the next thing, and then if I have time at the end I will come back to it. Very often it is a lack of context, sometimes the solution is elsewhere in the project. A sound that is used earlier or later can be reintroduced into the problem scene and it fixes everything.
On other occasions there was nothing wrong, and it was perfectionism creeping in at the cost of time.