I'm working on a student film where there is a CU scene of a genius' face while he is brainstorming a big idea. The director wants no speech involved (ie. it's not what he is thinking but rather what him thinking might sound like.)

The director wants it to sound pleasant and happy (like snow white in the forrest with animals or something similar) so that's taken out a lot of the sounds I might have tried first ie. calculation sounds, hard drives, calculators etc.)

Having a lot of trouble coming up with something that works that still sounds like some sort of internal thought process is happening.

Any ideas? How would you tackle this? Cheers.

4 Answers 4


What is he supposed to be brainstorming? You could try building some sort of montage out of sounds associated with the idea. Obviously, making it sound pleasant and happy will really depend on what sounds you select. Avoiding noise-like sounds and selecting ones that have a clearly defined pitch will help. Stick with combinations of frequencies that are easy to listen to simultaneously and in juxtaposition...maybe making use of appropriate musical scales and chords as a basis. Timing and flow are going to be key in keeping this interesting and producing the requested effect.

Sounds like an interesting challenge!


that sounds like an event that needs to be scored IMO. maybe try something musical?


Great challenge! Since there's no picture or real context (personality, subject of idea etc.), it's kind of difficult to give any real advice here. But the first thing that I came up with was the notion that when I get a good idea everything around me disappears (sonically and sometimes visually).

Let me explain this a bit. When I'm really focused on a particular problem or concept of interest I totally zone out. This happens all by itself, it's a bit like daydreaming. I have images in my head and can clearly hear myself talking about the idea. Anything else just fades away.

Since you cannot use voices, I would focus on whatever the subject is of the genius idea. Does that have a distinctive or characteristic sound? Or is there some sound that can be related to the problem? This could be a starting point for a design, although it may sound a bit literal.

The thing is, you should start with an idea and explore all it's possibilities and then all of a sudden a solution will present itself, as long as you're in the zone.

Hope this helps! And please keep us posted on your results!


You might want to build up short electrical signals to suggest that neurons are firing. Start slowly and then speed them, use panning and depth cues as well as doppler so that you get a sense of the whole brain working in three dimensions.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.