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Sound / image
Jonathan Bignell
,
Sarah Cardwell
, and
Lucy Fife Donaldson

The Introduction makes a case for the advantages of greater appreciative attentiveness to both sound and image, their interactions with each other and their roles in establishing meaning and style. Such attentiveness means focusing on technical and stylistic aspects of the image, including production design, framing and camera movement, mise-en-scène and performance. As regards sound, television soundtracks may comprise diegetic and non-diegetic sound, including music, dialogue, voice-over, bodily sounds, performed and non-performed sounds. Analysis and appreciation of individual programmes means looking for coherence between image and sound but also for discontinuity, discordance and tension. The development of television image technologies is a story of the quest for realistic accuracy, yet the artistry of image production can run with, or counter to, the discourse of ever-increasing clarity. Television camera work can give intimacy to performance, and repeated, intense engagement with performance over a long duration could be argued to be a distinctive property of television drama. The repetition of serial and series forms in television, and the longevity of some programmes, also give music in television a special significance. The chapters in this volume analyse some of the expressive potential that the visual and acoustic material of television can have. They explore and evaluate the plasticity of images, sounds and their interrelationships, through close attention to programmes that invite a reconsideration of how television sound and image can engage and affect their audiences.

in Sound / image