Cipher 603 (2014) dir. M. Baxter

    Score and Sound Re-design, Stereo Sound, 2022


Director: Melanie Baxter

Music Score: Fred Tidnam

Sound Design/Mix: Margarita Lioli

The creative approach of both Sound Design and Music Score is based on the dystopian theme and genre of the film. Complementary to the atmospheric music score of sustained pads, the sound design aims to be “realistic”, “natural”, and primarily dietetic following the action on the screen. Influenced by David Lynch’s film Lost Highway (1997), the sound design aims to create a sense of void and depict the main character’s confusion whilst eliciting an ominous sensation for the next scene, highlighting the ambiguity of story development. Additionally, industrial soundscapes are used as part of the mise-en-scene providing realism for the engagement and investment of the audience.

Emphasis is given to sounds that elicit tension and fear, such as industrial alarms and explosions featured at 4:33 mins. A high-pitched ascending tone introduces the explosion accompanying the strobing lights on screen. A volcano recording, layered with high pitched sound translating to the fire burning and flame blow, and low-frequency rumble to add impact. The sound design is closely intergraded with the music score during the mixing process, paying attention to the transitions between dialogue, ambience, and music score. The sound design choices and final mix of sequences intend to heighten the contrast between those elements within scenes for the development of the storyline.

Cipher 603 (2014) dir. Melanie Baxter