Now, in the last semester of my 4th year here at RIT, I realize how much I want to share my experiences and how much my time in the School of Film and Animation has vastly expanded not only my practical knowledge of the entertainment industry but also my theoretical knowledge. One of the aspects that drew me to RIT when I was searching for schools was the passion of the professors, and so I’d like to share a story about a class where I witnessed this. Last semester I had my first taste of what has be one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken: Film Sound Theory Effects. Many people dread theory classes when they first enter college, calling them boring and almost useless, however this class is far from boring and has proven useful to me on many an occasion.
First of all my professor (Jack Beck) was passionate and knowledgable in the subject matter we discussed, but that should be a given at a school as good as RIT! The first class of the semester this professor brought in a fart machine… Yes, a fart machine. We each then got a chance to press the button once throughout the class even at the most inconvenient time. His reasoning for this was that it was a sound effect. The basic layout of the class was a lecture that included many jokes and anecdotes, followed by a break, then a feature film screening (one of which was WALL-E), followed by a quick discussion on the film.
Many people may have been scared away from this since it is a whopping five hours long, but all in all that time flew by. Now that I have a “trained” ear, I find myself not only appreciating how important sound is to film, but also actively listening for the theoretical practices happening within it. This would not have happened had the professor not been so actively engaged and passionate about the subject matter.