At the surface, I thought it would be interesting to string human mouth noises together and animate "vocal chords" using a piece of string. But as this started to develop, the placement and amount of strings became an interpretation of how the sound feels or what it's trying to communicate. Besides, 45 seconds of just vocal chords would have been fuckin' boring.
I was very careful not to use many comprehensible words or language syntax. After all, these are supposed to be the small mouth noises that we can all relate to. That "string" us together.
I did use the word "No". And the word "Hello" in various languages. I think a fairly good percentage of people would actually get that even if they don't speak English or Chinese or whatever.
The rapid fire succession of abrupt sounds allowed for some comedy to enter the fray. Which was unexpected but very welcomed. Here are all of the waveforms strung together to make the foundational audio for this film:
I wanted to use a real piece of white string against a black background. It was incredibly important to shoot up against black so I could easily composite the strings over one another in After Effects. The last thing I wanted to do was key out colors. I just don't have the setup or the proper lighting to shoot green or blue screen.
The hardware store near me didn't have 2"x 4"s so I fastened two pieces of 1" x 4" wood together. I got two heavy gauge hooks and screwed them into the wood, painted the wood black (flat finish), and tied the string to one of the hooks, sometimes both hooks if I wanted the tautness to be fixed.
I controlled the motion and tension of the string myself. Various yanks, pulls, waves, swings, etc.
I shot these string motions on an iPhone 6 at 240 fps (720p). Here's a snippet of the raw footage.
Where the rubber met the road was in the fashioning and layering of these string movements to convey the attitude the sound was making. The audio in animation is, almost always, the impetus and driving force for the visuals. The result wouldn't have been as effective if I had done it the other way around.
Here is some finished art from the film:
Thanks for reading! Now go WATCH THE FILM!