The Dominant Eye?

A lot of people working in sound talk a lot about the dominance of visuals in their medium. That they feel visual aspects of the work they collaborate on is taken far more serious then the audio. I have that feeling sometimes aswell. Yet when it comes to the audience they are, I believe not nearly as obsessed with visuals as we think they are. For me, alhtough I can be as struck by visuals as the next guy, its the experience, the narrative that I am overcome by. Only when that does not deliver, does not take over my mind, then will you start looking or listening to the experience in a more detached way. As soon as you start thinking what a cool sound that is or what nice colors are in a scene you know that you have been taken out of the experience. Thats why when I want to analyse a movie for its sound I take a scene and watch it over and over again. So you detach from the emotion of the story and can focus on the underlying magic.

I think this ethos might come from being a minority part of most crews. Somehow this self image of being less has been set into the culture and now its hard to break from it. Because in the core of it, we are all part of creating that experience, narrative or immersion (yikes did I really just write that word).
Of course I’m mingling too different aspects. The resources available to audio vs graphics in productions and the audiences perceived “Dominant Eye”.
The production portion I think is kind of boring. Its something that can be changed in either directions in a blink of an eye. The audience perception however is fixed by milenia of evolution.

A few weeks ago I attended the School of Sound symposium. 2 neuro-scientist talked about how the sense interact and can influence each other before it reaches your conscious thought. They showed some MRI scans during a test where you could see the different parts of the brain light up. In one test they showed a visual of 2 light flashes with 2 beeps in sync. Then they played the same 2 flashes but with 3 beeps. The participant saw 3 flashes. The MRI showed that the eye “conversion” part of the brain was active during the 3 beeps proving that he was really let to believe there were 3 flashes. The senses interacting.
Our mind and senses play so many tricks on us but the experience it leads to is as real as anything else. And thats the cool bit.

Published by Anton

Sound Designer for Guerrilla Games Killzone 2 Killzone 3

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