I was lucky enough to catch a talk by Jenny Oyallon-Koloski at the Symposium on Interrogating the Modes of Videographic Criticism in February. Jenny talked about her Musical Grid Deformations (you can see more of them here) which showed “Every number from a musical film, presented simultaneously”. I had already been doing some work with Se7en, isolating all the sequences in the film that had surround sound content, so, inspired by Jenny’s work, I decided to create a surround grid.
This is my first effort. The video features every sequence from Se7en that has any surround sound content, and the audio you can hear is only from the surround channels. I worked in sequences (as opposed to scenes) so in this version I’ve not made any cuts on scene boundaries. The longest sequence here covers 9 scenes, but there is consistent audio content in the surround channels for the duration (I have defined ‘consistent’ here as not dropping below -50db on Resolves meters).
Initial thoughts – there is a lot of music, and also (strangely?) a lot of helicopter and plane sounds, even though we only actually see helicopters towards the end of the film. It does make me think that we also don’t really see sky until the end of the film. Also, (and Jenny did warn about this in her talk) my computer refused to render this in anything less than 20 hours. So in the end I had to optimise the footage (a DaVinci Resolve feature), and then render out that optimised footage.