Forbidden Lies

Over the music of the first acted clip in this sequence there is a bird chirping. I don’t think that they have gone out and recorded the sound of this bird, I think that that have found a sound effect and repeated it twice. It could be possible that the bird is just singing in a very similar way but I think that they have layered it with the sound of the triangle hit as the man’s tooth glints, and the chimes and harp sounds to mask the repetition.

We hear the car drive past which was probably recorded live, I don’t see why they wouldn’t unless there was some disruptive sound in the environment. This is followed by the whoosh sound as the woman throws her headscarf, a sound that I believe is recorded in a studio. I’m not exactly sure how this sound would be captured, I would probably try waving a fan or decent size piece of cardboard close to a microphone. This sound has most likely been slowed down in post to match the speed of the action. We hear the sound of wind as it flies through the air and then the sound of something that sounds like it is landing in sand as the scarf drops.

We then hear the sound of footsteps in sand layered with wind and they have used a loud gush of this wind to motivate and justify the time jump in the shot. It is interrupted by the sound of pressing a stop button (or record button) on an old tape recorder. The audio from the interview plays along with the dropping off a book on the table top. After this, the actor in the frame crumbles and the sound that is used is a scratching something like a needle on a record before the song or fingernails on soft wood, but there is probably also just the sound of sand quickly falling into a pile layered over it that also creates the end dispersing puff sound.

After going to the interview, we cut to the book cover with a cash register sound effect most likely declaring that if it is ‘the truth’ it is mostly like a cash grab. As Rana Husseini introduces herself a call to prayer is played that has been recorded elsewhere, perhaps this is to establish the world of Jordan. We don’t hear any ADR the shots where Husseini picks up papers or waves to her colleagues but we do hear the sound of typing on a keyboard while she is working at her desk. The next sound is a chime that calls back to the fictional sequence from the start of the clip, which plays when we see Norma Khouri’s headshot and biography on the dust cover of her book. During Dr. Amal A. Sabbagh’s interview, we hear this chime sound again. This interview is probably recorded with a directional microphone, there doesn’t appear to be a lapel mic, and we can clearly hear the birds that are in this outdoor setting. This chime sound is repeated when we see the close up of the book being held by the reader in the studio. This image freezes with a stock sound of a camera shutter and the interview with Sabbagh continues.

We revisit the film studio and the reader but we are transitioned into this with Husseini reading an excerpt from the book which becomes layered with the voice of the reader that fades in under Husseini’s voice. Husseini’s voice fades out once the reader’s voice can be clearly heard. We see a map with several layers of sounds as the reader continues: a version of the chimes that sound digital, an echoing sound that sounds like it is inside a tunnel with a train sliding on the tracks in the distance, and there is a pulsing sound similar to an underwater sonar radar in time with the heartbeat. When Husseini corrects the reader and the map, there is a sound effect of pages turning or paper moving, and a whipped ‘whoosh’ sound that is like a transition effect in Powerpoint.

When we cut to the salon shop, we hear the street sound of the people conducting their business that is replaced by a rattle sound when we punch in on the unisex sign. While Husseini is on the phone we hear the sound of the papers moving that she picks up, this could be layering the sounds from the shots used to capture this footage. While looking inside the salon, as it transitions from the set to reality we hear the whoosh sound similar to that of the headscarf but at its intended speed.

The interviews with business operators that follow were most likely recorded with a directional microphone that I believe is attached to the camera, the people don’t sound as clear and the other sounds around them are more audible. I believe that the line ‘do you recognise these two people’ was recorded in post because it is so clear and distinct compared with the other sounds. These interviews have a long fade out into the fictional world’s music. In this world, we hear the sound of paper money and coins that we probably recorded on set in the close-ups themselves or in ADR. This is followed by the sound of coins falling on the bench top and a repeat of the camera shutter taking us back to the real world. We hear the folly sounds again when we return to the fictional world, which this time seem like they were recorded in post-production. When the action replays we hear some music that is also played in reverse and another whoosh and quick chime when the playback is finished. As the Hyatt is deconstructed, we hear snippets of construction sounds that are cut together to match the rhythm of the visual deconstruction. During this sequence moving from the book to the enactments of the scenes we switch between Husseini reading the page numbers and the reader narrating the text.

At the interview with the gym we see that these interviews are being recorded with a directional microphone on a boom at a low angle. When we cut in for a close up on the Music Box truck there is a ding or bell like a game show or entering a store. The recording of the phone call to Music Box might have been done twice or the phone call reenacted because the sound is very clear. But maybe they were able to get the microphone closer enough and the phone speaker loud enough to capture it at the time of filming.

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