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Hugo (2011)

Sound Analysis

In general the mixing focuses in the music giving to the whole film a very emotional effect; the ambiences and sound
landscapes are in a second level of importance; regard foleys, the mix plays with the levels of the elements in the screen,
make them sound particularly louder or quieter than in reality regard its importance in the story (the sound of the metal leg
brace of the Station Inspector, very well done footsteps, steam leaks through the wall, wind, etc) but not as important as the
music (when they overlay), that is surpassed just by the dialogs that usually happen when there's no music.

In the intro sequence, all the sound design elements that will be in the film are introduced, showing the style and the concept
for the whole thing.

The film starts with sound of trains and the anticipation of the sound of the clock's ticking gears during the credits.

01:57 - Immediately after the scene of introduction of the space where the film will take place (Paris), the music changes and
with it the ticking of the gears is back, when the camera goes inside the big clock and this sound keeps playing all the time
(even when we don't see the clock), during introduction of the other characters and the train station, until the camera goes
back to the clock (this ticking is very important storytelling wise, connects main character's passion for gears, clocks and

During the scene when the characters are shown for the first time, even we can see people around them, the only voices we
actually listen and understand are theirs (nice way to show they are important, to introduce them to the audience).

4:08 - Point of audition: Hugo is watching through the clock to Mr. Mlis and Isabelle, even the framing is changing all the
time (close ups to them, close up to the mouse, wide shot for the store) we keep listening the ticking of the gears, we can't
hear their conversation, it means, we stay in Hugo's perspective.

5:05 - For the first dialogue (and the first moment till now without music), very low level for ambience sounds, strong
presence of the reverb of the space and wind connecting with Mr. Mlis dialogues about ghosts and the struggle regard the

7:08 - Point of audition of the dog: Mr. Mlis screams the words "thief" and "go", they have a delay repeating and
increasing its level until we see the dog.

7:49 - Sudden diegetic music supporting the emotion of the scene, by the musicians performing at the train station's caffe;
this music is played in the same tonality than the non diegetic music it replaces.

11:16 - Point of audition: Hugo is watching through the clock to the old couple (Love music plays) but this time we hear them
whispering, dog barking and dialog, not the ticking of the clock's gears (this is their scene, not Hugo's).

16:05 - Wind starts to rise the level as the conversation between Isabella and Hugo goes on, it makes the street feel very
cold and he's wearing short pants; it helps to support the importance of the notebook for Hugo, not even that cold can stop
him to try to get the notebook back.

17:36 - The first time we see the 'automaton' the sound of a film projector appears (with a kind of projector's light flickering
on Hugo's face) and then we go into Hugo's memory. Why??? (maybe to connect the automaton with the filmmaking story
of Mr. Mli as a leif motif)

25:40 - Everything else but the foleys related with the station inspector lowers the volume and the music suddenly stops,
emphasizing the mechanical noise of his metal leg-brace in the silence created lowering everything else, other than the
exaggerated reverb added to this sound supports the uncomfortable moment this character is having because of his problem.

30:20 - People nearby sounds very low until the dialog finishes, then it get's the right level together with the sound of a

31:54 - Hugo repaired the toy and the music suddenly cuts, but when Mr. Mli tests it, the ambience sounds as well as the
reverbs are very low (it's a decisive moment, the audience need to focus on it)

33:06 - Diegetic music from the musicians at the caffe that becomes not diegetic during the whole sequence, until it
becomes diegetic again when Hugo and Isabella exchange glances, she is dancing outside the caffe (all the scenes of the
sequence get the emotion given by the music, the feeling that everything is going better for Hugo).

42:04 - the sound of a distant train starts to play when Isabella is about to ask Hugo where he lives, and when he answers
the question pointing to the train station, this sound becomes closer and he hear a train whistle.

46:00 - the sound of the people inside the station is louder than before and its level grows gradually until Isabella falls
down; at this point a very distressing sound (of the brake of a train slowing down) appears and the steps are louder
connecting with the awkward/stressful moment Isabella is having on the floor. All the levels go back to normal when Hugo
arrives ("the hero"! and as a reward he finds the key for the 'automaton' on Isabella's necklace).

59:11 - Mr. Mlis and his wife are chatting in the living room and when the camera shows inside the room the children are,
we listen this conversation just for a moment, the for sure keep talking but we stop listening inside this room.

1:09:00 - Monsieur Labisse is giving instructions to the children about a book but we are already looking at the place he is
telling them to go, he keeps giving indications (voice over) but they are actually doing what the voice over says, we don't see
Monsieur Labisse anymore.

1:14:05 - When professor Tabard starts to tall the story of his memory, we see it but there is no sound on it, just his voice
over and music and keeps like that until the voice over ends, at this point the sound on the screen starts to fade in; and it
starts to fade out gradually when the voice over comes back.

1:55:29 - For the final speech the amount of reverberation in Mr. Mlis voice decreases gradually as the frame gets closer
to him, to reach finally an almost dry sound of his voice for the close up, and stays like that even when camera shows Hugo,
theater, wife, etc.