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Jonah Stern


Abstract: Most modern films rely heavily on spoken dialogue to drive their narratives. For my project, I researched the use of abstract audio, which is non-verbal sound that communicates emotions or ideas. While exploring different scholarly views and theories on the purpose of sound in movies outside of spoken dialogue, I also made a silent movie of my own. My movie is silent in that it does not include any spoken dialogue, but, much like movies from the silent film era, it does include music and sound effects. Rather than mimic the style of old silent films, however, I am making an entirely modern movie, but applying the principles of visual communication that are found in silent films.

The purpose of my project is to understand the methodology of visual communication in narrative without relying on literal spoken words. My movie intends to respond to previous uses of these techniques, and to the opinions of film scholars and theorists. By researching the methods of visual narrative and sound’s complementary, contradictory, or independent role in this movie, I hope to continue the development of this approach to film without using audible words.

While the main purpose of my film, the most prominent element of my project, is to apply the techniques used in silent cinema to a modern movie, I also hope to expand on these methods and hopefully add new ideas or techniques to this tradition.

Sector C: Art Practice and Technology

ADVISERS: Ellen Reynolds (FNAR) | Meta Mazaj (CINE)