Sound Design in Film is an analytical book covering the subject of sound in film, with specific reference to Kenyan cinema practices. The central space that sound in film occupies within the matrix of storytelling in film, is the inspiration behind this book. Drawing from the concepts and practices of building a “cinematic experience” created from the innovative interweaving of sound elements and images, this book engages in a discussion of the roles that the sounds play and the narrative significance that they export to the story. The discussions in the book describe the specifics of the sound elements in form and content, and unveil various techniques of creation, re-creation and manipulation of the sounds during production and post production stages. The book interrogates critically how the film story is exposed, advanced, and narrated by elements of sound design, namely; dialogue, film score, sound effects, ambience and silence, and how that can therefore be translated into intrinsic narrative characteristics of sound in film. The language used in the book is simple, direct and analytical, demystifying sound design using technical and symbolic analysis and alluding mainly to practical examples from four Kenyan fiction films, including; Killer Necklace by Judy Kibinge (2008), Formula X by Steve Ominde (2009), From A Whisper by Wanuri Kahiu (2009) and Nairobi Half Life by Tosh Gitonga (2012). Sound Design in Film will serve as a useful tool for teaching sound design, film sound analysis and as a reader for researchers and filmmakers interested in the subject and field practice of sound in film.
Gabriel Thuku Kimani is a Lecturer of Film, Theatre Arts and Music Technology in Kabarak University, an audio-visual content producer, film director, a production sound mixer and post-production sound consultant with Film and television credits spanning from the year 2008. He is also a consummate, award-winning thespian with experiences in the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival. He holds a Diploma in Film Sound from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and Film Technology and a Master of Arts in Film and Theatre Arts, from Kenyatta University. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctoral studies at the University of Venda in South Africa. He is also an experienced lecturer, TVET trainer, assessor and curriculum developer who has taught various courses within Film, Theatre, and Music Technology in KIMC, Kenyatta University, KCA-University and USIU-Africa. His research interests are diverse, spanning Theatre Studies, Dance, Film Sound, Film Commentary and Analysis, Film Genre and Music Technology.