I chose the Wizard of Oz for my alternate viewing and decided to view the film with the sound out of synch with the images. I am not a technological person so the only way I could think to do this was by having the film open on two separate tabs on my web browser and have one tab for the sound and the other tab for the image. I set up the tabs so that the sound would be five seconds behind the image. I chose the Wizard of Oz because it is a film I enjoyed throughout my childhood and still enjoy today. This idea was inspired by the film Singin’ in the Rain.

My first thought as the movie began was that it seemed like a silent film. Dorothy would be moving as if she were talking but I could not hear the words. The beginning of the film is also not in colour which is a common association with silent films. My initial thought was that next the dialogue would appear on screen like a silent film but then the sound caught up and I was brought back to the reality of my experiment. A few scenes later there is a close-up shot of Dorothy just before she sings “Over the Rainbow”. During this close-up, the voice of Auntie Em is heard which was supposed to play five seconds earlier. The asynchronization in this scene gives the effect that Auntie Em is lecturing Dorothy and the audience is meant to focus on Dorothy’s reaction because the shot is solely of her with Auntie Em’s voice in the background. When the image and sound are synchronized for this scene, Auntie Em has already left and Dorothy is alone. Dorothy’s close-up is a lead in to the song “Over the Rainbow”. close-up-dorothy

The desynchronization of image and sound sometimes made scenes humorous because it would involve delayed reactions by characters. When the Wicked Witch of the West first appears on the film she comes in a cloud of red smoke and the munchkins scurry away in fear of her. The film shows the red smoke and the appearance of the Wicked Witch but the sounds of the gasps and screams from the munchkins only come five seconds later. When viewing this, I giggled because without the context that I had manipulated the sound, you wonder why the munchkins would only make sound after they have already gone into hiding. There were very few scenes like this where the delay in sound makes the scenes comical; most of the film tended to be frustrating like this.

late-reaction

As the film went on I found a scene that was like a scene in the film Singin’ in the Rain that inspired my project. There is a part in Singin’ in the Rain where the sound and image desynchronize during a screening and one character’s voice is heard while the other character makes the motion of talking. This eventually happened in my experiment with the Wizard of Oz just after the Wicked Witch of the West makes her first appearance and wants to take the ruby slippers away from Dorothy. When Dorothy is viewed as speaking the voice of the Wicked Witch is heard and vice versa. This gives the scene a comical feel because opposing characters are seen as speaking for each other. This also happened later when Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow on her way to Oz.

In conclusion, I was able to find the similarity between the desynchronization in a scene the film Singin’ in the Rain and the desynchronization in my experiment with the Wizard of Oz. This manipulation of the film gave me a different viewing experience of a movie I have watched many times since my childhood. There were scenes that would not normally be comical but were with the sound late. My overall experience was that it gave me a headache and I ended up watching the last half of the film with the sound and image in sync.

Kyla Kohlman

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