I could use some help with short film I'm working on. The thing is that there are no dialogues in it (that's ok with me, I don't like talkies anyway:)) and the mighty director is against the use of diegetic music (oh, non-diegetic music drives him even more crazy). There's decent high society party going on. Scene is about 8 minutes long with actors basically walking from corner of the big room to another. My goal is to fill the space with ambience/background chatting so it doesn't sound tiresome after minute or two. It was quite ok in the first version where there was "invisible" band playing in background. But I struggle with the version based only on background sounds because it sounds artificial and you suddenly have this feeling that there's not much going on. Have you ever faced similar problem? Does anybody have any idea how to creatively work with what I got? How to mix ambiences so it doesn't sound tiresome? Pardon my english. I hope you got the idea. Good evening, Martin, Prague
Is this 8 minutes in 1 room/space? That sounds like it would be tiresome.
If there is no dialogue then I would probably concentrate heavily on foley and bringing actions out.
Record a party walla and record some spot effects, glasses, laughing, walking etc Re-record these through worldizing OR use an impulse response and run the audio you record through it.
Bring out the foley and make sure you have nice stereo recordings of the ambiences, pan spot effects and keep any important foley central like you would dialogue.
Wow this sounds like quite a challenge, in two ways. First of all, your description of the movie and the director is a bit negative or at least ironic. Is that on purpose? It makes me get the feeling that you actually don't like to work on this movie, but perhaps that's your 'english'. Second: The way you describe the scene is lacking valuable information for me to really give good advise.
Here are some questions:
-What's the point of view, and through who's ears is the audience listening?
-Are the (main)characters having fun, or are they neutral?
-Why are they walking across the room?
-Is there a tense atmosphere with drunks or is it a party with laughter?
These things matter to the audience visually, and influence the way they hear the soundscape. So maybe you could analyse the scene a bit more in depth and find a key element that you can attach to an emotional and dynamic soundscape.
Probably the more appropriate question to answer isn't why they are moving across the set, but how? What is the camera perspective. is the shot a static shot, or are we on a steadicam?
If you are looking at a tracking shot or a steadicam shot, then it will be entirely appropriate to pan the crowd wall and possbily change the atmos perspective as the shot changes.
You could add in some foley of drinks being poured, clinked together, actor footsteps etc.
I'd be more than happy to take a look at the scene if you want to upload it to YT or Vimeo....