Forbidden Lies

The audio in Forbidden Lies is very well layered and interesting to analyse. Had I not been asked to undertake this task I would never have noticed all the different small sounds that make up the short clip Paul linked us to. There is a lot going on in audio in this piece, I listened intently to the clip and noted the following sounds, in order, throughout the sequence:

  • Music, singing
  • Birds tweeting
  • Bell dinging
  • More birds
  • Bells chiming
  • Car engine
  • Bells chiming again
  • A ‘whoosh’ sound as the girl throws her shawl out of the car
  • A thump as the shawl hits the ground
  • Footsteps, crunching sound as a woman walks through a sandy desert
  • A gust of wind
  • A register dinging sound
  • Book being placed on the table
  • Computer keys typing
  • Bell chiming again
  • Sound of a camera snap
  • Sound of a heart beat
  • ‘Swooshing’ sound as the map switches around
  • A ‘rattlesnake’ sound
  • Sound of money being taken out of wallet
  • Coins, coin hitting a counter
  • Another camera snap
  • Sound of rustling through a drawer
  • Sound of cigarette lighter igniting
  • ‘Swoosh’ sort of sound as the cigarette package disappears
  • Construction sounds as the Hyatt hotel disappears from shot
  • A ding sound
  • Sound of a mobile phone snapping shut


I was amazed there were that many sounds in such a short scene, only around 3 minutes long! In my opinion I would imagine most of the sound effects were sourced from other places and not recorded by the film makers themselves. To be honest I wouldn’t know exactly where the sound effects may have been sourced from, perhaps a royalty free website or a sound effects website. It would be extremely easy to source these effects from a website and then simply add them into the project in post. Using editing software, for example Premiere Pro as I am familiar with, it is extremely easy to manipulate clips and place whatever you want into the sequence. I would imagine this is how the sounds in the sequence have been added. It is of course possible that the sounds were recorded by the film makers themselves and sourced that way, they would have obviously been recorded at a separate time and then added into the film in the post production.

The music is also very interestingly used in Forbidden Lies, when I first started watching the clip Paul had linked us to I almost thought I was watching a Bollywood rom com production. The music is over the top and cheesy and it then suddenly cuts to silence in the journalist’s office as she tells about how everything we just saw (images of men and women happily laughing and gazing lovingly at each other) is a lie. The sudden snap out of the romantic portrait first shown to us is extremely effective. In another sequence where the journalist is trying to track down dates of when certain businesses opened (to prove that the book she is discussing is based on lies) the music playing in the background is a repetitive and zany tune that gives us the feeling of going around in circles.

Overall the sound effects and music work extremely well in Forbidden Lies to emphasis what the film maker is trying to tell us. We don’t even notice all these small and subtle effects but they heighten the viewing experience for us.

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