That Bleeping Crime Scene

One of the more memorable scenes from early on in The Wire is of Bunk and McNulty at the cold crime scene in the apartment where they only say “fuck.” I love it, and think it’s a great, humorous scene. When I saw the That Bleeping Censor assignment, I thought it would be interesting to see how this scene would change if all the profanity was bleeped.

I found the scene on YouTube here and dowloaded it using Clip Converter. Since I knew I’d be editing the audio, I downloaded it both as a video (mp4) and as an audio track (mp3). In iMovie, I created a new event and a new movie as I do for every project and imported the mp4 file. I then opened Audacity and imported the mp3 file. I added bleeping sounds by selecting the section of the audio and choosing Generate > Tone and setting it to Sine wave at 1000 Hz. I did this for each “fuck,” which was quite tedious, depending on how it was said. Once I completed this task, I exported it as an mp3. Back in iMovie, I split the audio from the video, deleted the audio, and imported the edited audio. I then added a title screen at the beginning and credits at the end.

Here is a screenshot of what it looked like once it was all edited together:

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 10.47.27 PM

I think the bleeps take a lot away from the scene. There’s a beauty to all the different ways they say “fuck” and it really illustrates their various reactions as they go along. “Fuck” is a very versatile word and despite it being considered profane, its placement and the tone in which it is said really shapes our understanding of someone’s reaction or feelings about something.

Here is my final product: