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Hi! I m working on film where i have to design the POV of different animals. I have some ideas, but i m doing some research too. Do you remember any film with this kind of sound design? I ve seen some, but it s great to discover new films with your help. Thanks a lot!

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Ooo, sounds like a lot of fun!

Here are some things to think about when designing for different animals:

  • A lot of smaller animals have high frequency hearing, but miss some low frequencies. For example, a mouse cannot hear below 1kHz, but hears up to 90kHz
  • Some animals have accute hearing, but it's not in a very wide frequency. They are just better at processing at what they are hearing than humans and some animals. Perhaps making sounds "pop" more when they are important to the animal (a predator, prey) would help give a better POV.
  • Many animals can detect vibrations (such as elephants) and use that for communication beyond what they hear.
  • Certain animals detect electrical and magnetic fields. Bringing out that aspect could be interesting.

As far as movies that have POV, the only ones that come to mind are cheesy kids movies that have a dog's POV or something like that. Their design just involves a lot of snuffling sounds. I feel like an animal would filter out its own noises, but if we're getting a true POV, you would hear a cat purring in its head and a dog sniffing. Do you have a list of animals you're specifically working with? Do you have access to the animals to get some of their natural sounds?

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the film Predator sometimes takes the POV of the Predator, which im counting as an animal for the purpose of this question :P

The sound design changes drastically in the Predator's POV to show that his sense of hearing is very alien, iirc modulation effects were used.

You could think about how the physiology of different creatures would affect how they perceive sound.

EDIT: I've just watched episode 16 in season 2 of the Simpsons, where you see & hear briefly from the perspective of Santa's Little Helper (a dog). The sound is really cool because you can hear Krusty the Clown's very recognisable voice but not speaking proper words - just made up nonsense.

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A French movie has this: L'Ours (Jean-Jacques Annaud). I haven't seen it in a looong time and I don't even know where to find it legally.

From what I remember, you hear the bear (who is the main character) groan as he lost his mother bear. You hear insects and it seems now that the grass could have been louder as well, cause the animal is closer to it than us humans. There's a moment in the film where he eats hallucinogens (mushrooms) and there must be some specific sound design for this.

This movie is from a French director but there is no dialogue in it, it's just the story of a bear that can't make it alone in the outer world. Very sad movie.

  • Here is the first part on Dailymotion: dailymotion.com/video/… – Justin Huss Jun 29 '10 at 21:56
  • I saw it when i was a kid, it s very sad, but i can t remember any details of the sound, i m gonna see it again, thanks – Javier Umpierrez Jun 29 '10 at 22:07
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I've not seen the film as it looks truly awful but the novel Fluke by James Herbert is told from the POV of a dog (although it's actually a reincarnated human). It's years since I read it but if memory serves it did describe some sound from the dog's perspective.

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You might also want to have a look at this interview freshly posted on Designing Sound, there's a small talk about POV that's always worth reading!

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I am working on a 3-D animated version of a film that has animals throughout. I did the foley and what I concentrated on was making the sounds larger than life. It is more cinematic than real since we wanted to punch up the size of everything such as dogs walking, a dung beetle rolling a ball, flying ants etc. I suggest looking also at films like Microcosmos- a film about the insect life in the french countryside. The perspective of sound from the insects was phenomenal. Totally filled the screen without overwhelming us.

I generally think that we have to take ourselves outside of how we would hear things from a human perspective. With animals, as one person replied do not hear things in the same way as other species. But it also depends on the type of film you are making.

Good Luck

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