SR#9 “Zero Dark Dirty” Sound


The purpose of this assignment is for you to cumulatively show your understanding of sound in film using examples from a specific film. The areas of sound in film include how sound enhances a character’s emotion (state of mind), creates setting (time and place) and how non-diegetic music is used to explore the storytelling. Also, you are to show your understanding of the difference between diegetic and non-diegetic sound.

Screening Report: ZERO DARK THIRTY (released 2012)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cinematographer/DP: Greig Fraser
Editors: Dylan Tichenor & William Goldenberg
Sound Designer/Editor: Paul N. J. Ottosson
Viewing Options:
DVD available in the WCC library.
Free Streaming using Swank in Library’s Streaming Media in course navigation.
Rental Streaming: Amazon Prime (included with membership), Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and other sites.


Each answer should be a minimum of 150 words in length.
Include a word count after each answer.
Include an approximate timestamp where your example can be found in the film for each answer.
Use proper college paper formatting.
Review your report for spelling, punctuation, grammar and clarity before uploading.
Submit your answers in Canvas as a Word Doc or as a PDF.
No late submissions will be accepted.

Question 1: Sound Designer and Sound Editor Paul Ottosson (not the music composer) is quoted as saying about the sound in the film, “We used a lot of the sound effects to enhance the emotion of the screen or to peel away to reveal what the character internally went through.” Describe in detail an example of sound enhancing the emotion of a scene or exploring a character from the film (DO NOT USE the “capture bin Laden” scene OR non-diegetic music as your example). (Include timestamp; 150 words minimum; include word count)

Question 2: Ottosson also said, “In a dark scene like that (the bin Laden capture) sound also helped tell the viewer what space you were in.” Explain his quote using examples from the bin Laden compound sequence – how does the audience know the space only through sound? Listen to this scene at least one time with your eyes closed and list all the sounds you hear. This will help you answer the question. (Include time stamp; 150 words minimum; include word count)

Question 3: Describe a third and different scene that uses music composer Alexandre Desplat’s music score and explain how the music is enhancing the story OR creating mood/atmosphere OR exploring character state of mind. This must be non-diegetic music. (Include time stamp; 150 words minimum; include word count)

BE SPECIFIC WITH EXAMPLES FROM THE FILM. Use proper punctuation, grammar and spelling. Proof your work before uploading.

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