Truman, trying to escape Seahaven, crashes his sailing boat into the studio's wall.

In anger and confusion he punches and elbows the wall repeatedly. However, we are unable to hear the diegetic sound. All we can hear is the music score, which is noticeably louder.

What is the name of this technique?

Reference Scene:

(I've seen such techniques before, like when a character experiences a mental breakdown, and diegetic sound is muffled or simply cannot be heard.)

1 Answer 1


What is the name of this technique?

AFAIK, there's no term that specifically describes the amount of diegetic to non-diegetic sound in a particular scene. In general though, the sound technique that's used in the OP's reference scene is referred to as "background music", where the non-diegetic sound is used to enhance the atmosphere of the scene.

Another classic film that jumps from one extreme to the other is Jaws.

Notice how the scene begins with only diegetic sound, and then once the camera takes the perspective of the shark it sharply changes to just background music. During/after the attack it then blends the two together, functioning to assist in combining the perspective of the shark with that of the beach-goers.

Of course the balance of diegetic to non-diegetic sound is extremely important and can subconsciously guide the audience, however, I don't believe there's an industry term to reference this shifting from one to the other (or of completely replacing diegetic with non-diegetic sound).

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