Ernest Goes to Camp

Screenplay By: John R. Cherry III; Coke Sams; Steve Leasure; Glenn Petach

Director: John R. Cherry III

Staring: Jim Varney; Victoria Racimo; John Vernon; Lyle Alzado

Release Year: 1987

When making movies sounds and music selections have a lot to do with projecting feelings of the audience.  “Sounds may be added, subtracted, and manipulated to suggest states of mind, to anticipate or recall other events of the story, or any other reason a filmmaker decides upon” (Goodykoontz; Jacobs, 2014 Film: From Watching to Seeing).  In the beginning of “Ernest Goes to Camp” the movie starts off with an intense testing of faith by the Indian council.  The scene shows a young “brave” tied to a totem while a knife, hatchet, and an arrow are projected at him.  The music and chanting that are played give the sounds of wonder and worry.  Wonder because of the narration asks if the “brave” has the courage to face his fears.

When the bulldozer scene happens near the end of the movie again they add both music and special sound effects to give it a more eerie sound as it demolishes buildings and threatens to destroy the ones trying to defend and fight for the camp.  Even though a large bulldozer like the one in the movie is scary enough with just the size of it adding the extra effects just makes the movie and scenes like these that extra edge.

When dealing with sound sometimes it is often good to keep the audience drawn in with the use of emotions.  Many movies always have that happy ending or that villain that everyone hates.  In some cases they use certain songs to illustrate and express emotion to the audience.  For instance in the movie “Frozen” you have Elsa with the song of “Let it Go” expressing her hard times and struggles that she has with her powers.  She is so fed up with it that she has to let it go.  In “Ernest Goes to Camp”, Ernest is so brokenhearted about his messing up and causing the camp to be signed over.  His feelings are also hurt because he has tried so hard with a group of misfit boys and has failed.  You feel and hear his depression by the song that he sings called, “Gee, I’m Glad it’s Raining.”  He mentions that no one can see his tear drops when it pours and pretty much how they can’t hear his heart breaking over the sound of thunder.

Without key parts like this a lot of movies would not have any feelings or emotions embedded in them.  You would have nothing that an audience could relate to.  All of the actors would just go through the motions without emotion.  The plot wouldn’t really come together as it should because you would have to feel and understand the situation that the characters are going through.  By the addition of the sounds and the music it allows something that is simple with no sound and without feeling to have those sounds and feelings for us to not only enjoy but to also laugh with and cry with.

Goodykoontz , B., & Jacobs , C. P. (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing. Steve Wainwright

III, J. R. (Director). (1987). Ernest Goes to Camp [Motion Picture]


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