I'm working with a group of 1st graders on a film project. The approach I'm taking is very sound driven. We started by listening to an unusual recorded sound and they drew what they thought it would be. Now we are developing stories based on what they drew. I have also given them a foley artist demonstration (very basic).

Now I would like to show them a scene from a film (or just clips) that show the progression of a film's sound design. Or, perhaps something that has two different approaches to sound design to demonstrate how sound can affect what we see.

Do you know of a film or clips (preferably online) that I could show?

There is something similar on the Skywalker Sound Blog about "Inception," but I can't show that to first graders! I am thinking of the sound equivalent of a film that shows the progression of an animation from sketch to full color.


Karen Rodriguez

  • How old are first graders? (for those of us not in the US) Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 17:08
  • What an interesting project, never heard stuff like this done in schools. Studying sound perception is fundamental to many, if not all, who work with sound for picture (especially those who have done formal studies, where it can be mandatory coursework and is a popular topic for the theses). However, what is it specifically that you're trying to demonstrate? I feel that taking a too formal/analytical approach may be difficult to grasp for such young children, or am I wrong? Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 20:39
  • For demonstrating how changing the sound affects the perception, would it be too simple if you (or someone) just took very short animations of something that the children recognize, like everyday objects, animals etc. and overlaid different sounds to them? The components that soundtracks are composed of are very informal: speech, music and sound effects, so I'm not sure how demonstrating "how a soundtrack is built" is essential, it's meant to be creative(?). Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 20:47
  • First graders are 6 and 7 years old. Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 15:36
  • Internet Human-- It's a project I came up with with the teacher who wanted to make movies with the kids for a fun activity. In my own work, I try to make sound-image relationships engaging and to think of sound, as Randy Thom says, at the story level not as an afterthought. I do mean to show them how it affects perception on a basic level, but also to show how the "world" of a movie is constructed through the sound as much if not even more than through the images. Just get them thinking that movies are constructions, not given. And hopefully inspire them to tell their own stories! Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


there is some stuff about the breakdown of the sounds for How To Train Your Dragon here, there is some really good sections where they show scenes broken down into stems, and sections with just the dragon vocals. Also it is a first grader friendly film :)


1st graders are 6-7 years old, right?

There's a great special feature on the Two Towers DVD that breaks down the soundtrack of a scene at Helm's Deep battle in 6 or 8 passes: dialog, ambience, spot effects, foley, music, etc. Unfortunately, that's probably not age appropriate at all.

There's some great special features on the Wall-E DVD. I don't remember watching any scenes "in progress" but there are clips with Ben Burtt explaining his process. There's also a clip in there about using musical stingers for sound effects in Disney's old cartoons, and clips featuring classic foley props.

  • Thanks @Stephen. I found a Wall-E interview with Ben Burtt poking around after posting here. I think I will show that. I have seen the LOTR videos on youtube which are totally great, but I reserve them for my college students! Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 15:44

Take a look on this Youtube video from Peter Jackson about Post Production process in Hobbit movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vqyzHwnEiY

I think that this video is good for any age. And it is not only about sound :)

Also on http://soundworkscollection.com is a lot of useful stuff about progress in sound design - but never single film :/


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