THE LAST STARFIGHTER

In movies you have three critical audio components that help the audience follow along with the story outside of the visual components of what the characters are doing or where they are doing it at.  These things are known as the dialogue, music, sound effects.  First of all the dialogue is what the characters are saying to each other as they interact.  Normally people aren’t mind readers and for anyone to work together with someone else they have to communicate.  This can be an effective way to describe what is going on to the audience without directly telling the audience.  We discover it right along with the characters in the film.  Secondly, the sound effects give the audience a better sense about whatever the characters seem to be doing.  For example, when one character says activate the device, we will hear someone flipping switches and pushing buttons as it is being done.  This helps us better suspend our disbelief and follow along with the story.  The third and final element is the Music.  This is what really helps build us up emotionally during certain scenes.  If it is supposed to be a tense situation we get music that can make us nervous about what is happening or excited as we see the god guys triumph over the bad guys.  It is ultimately what helps the audience into the right mood for the scene being played out.

Record Breaker

In the first scene with Alex playing the video game.  You have the sound effects one might expect from someone doing exactly what he is doing.  You hear it makes the appropriate bleeps and bloops in reaction to him playing it.  In reality it most likely is just a fancy light show but those sound effects tend one to believe he is actually playing the game.  Next you notice the dialogue flows and changes with how the scene is developing.  He starts to do really well and the people become excited calling out for others to come see.  Several groups have quick conversations and off they go to see Alex play the game.  You can hear their excitement and exclamations of “oh my god he is going break the record!”  Near the end, the game mentions the command ship and you can hear in the background two ladies discussing what that means as well as other encouraging Alex.  This gives us an idea that everyone is engaged in what is happening with Alex and the game.  The music adds even more by ramping up s the excitement builds and keeps that emotional high going throughout the scene.  When he beats the game you can hear the crescendo that signals the climax as everyone is cheering, and the game is still making game sounds that join in as well.  It all fits together really well.

Death Blossom

In the second scene, much like the first, it starts out low and quickly ascends.  You first hear the music as things are getting ready to become intense.  Then you hear the characters’ dialogue about getting ready for the upcoming battle while there are sound effects of them pushing buttons and flipping switches s they are talking about what they are doing.  Even the “Death Blossom” panels on the outside of the ship have sound effects of them opening.   This makes it very believable that all this is going on and not just being acted out. (Suspension of disbelief remember?)

Then one of the yells “Charge!” and the music instantly changes to something you would expect for the guns blazing, going all out, intense actions taking place.  Everything from lasers, explosions and missiles have some sort of sound as they happen.  Each shot gets a bleep or bloop and still we can hear the characters discussing what is going on even when they are taking fire and waiting for Death Blossom to be ready.  Everything is mixed well hear that no one element overrides the others like music too loud for dialogue and sound effects.  Even with the obviously bad computer graphics for the visuals we hve these three elements that take a mediocre at best scene and liven it up so that you probably don’t think about the visuals until afterwards.

References:

Movie Clips “The Last Starfighter (1/10) Movie CLIP – Record Breaker (1984) HD” Retrieved from                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJRmY9VXf1g

Movie Clips “The Last Starfighter (8/10) Movie CLIP – Death Blossom (1984) HD” Retrieved from                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNvUsTBGyE

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