You Design: Children of Men

In late 2006, co-writer and director Alfonso Cuarón released his dystopian, science fiction, action-thriller Children of Men. While not so successful commercially, it was a critical success hailed for its directing, cinematography, and editing. With its innovative, long-shot sequences, Children of Men would change the way in which film was shot forever.

In today’s You Design, we showcase one of these long-shot sequences. In fact, it’s the very first shot of the film, in which the main character leaves a coffee shop and starts to walk down a busy London street before the coffee shop suddenly explodes.

When watching the original scene, you’ll hear how skillfully the sound team managed to create a distinct environment without giving everything sound. You may notice missing footsteps, cars, and voices. But this is a perfect example of knowing not what needs to sound, but what should sound. A busy scene like this could easily create confusion for the audience, but the sound team stayed aware of exactly what they wanted the audience to listen for. And by using minimal sound in the beginning, it makes the explosion at the end all the more startling. Now download and use Jared's sound pass of this scene as a jumping-off point for your own!