Someone recently asked me, "what's the best thing to read to get an idea of what you do?" What a great question. Nothing replaces practical work experience when it comes to learning but there are some brilliantly written books and articles to get a good grasp on the industry, and Sound in particular.
Here's my top 5...
1. [Article] Designing A Movie For Sound - Randy Thom
This article is the closest thing to a Film Sound Manifesto.
2. [Book] Film Sound: Theory and Practice - Elizabeth Weis and John Belton (editors)
Essays from the world's most respected film historians, aestheticians, and theorists. Ideal for anyone seeking both a comprehensive introduction to the form and a rich survey of its historical and global evolution.
3. [Book] Sound-On-Film - Vincent LoBrutto
If you're hungry to know more about the craft and its history every page of this book is a feast; 27 interviews with pioneering figures in film sound that take you on a trip from the studio era to contemporary productions. Packed with references, anecdotes and practical examples of legendary films such as Star Wars, Raging Bull or Terminator 2, to name a few.
4. [Book] Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures 1998-2001 - Larry Sider, Diane Freeman and Jerry Sider (editors)
A compilation of some of the best presentations given at this annual symposium exploring the creative use of sound in arts and media, with a special emphasis on film and screen productions. Contributors include David Lynch, Carter Burwell, Walter Murch amongst other great film sound thinking heads.
5. [Book] Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen - Michel Chion
Chion has made great advances in coiling a Film Sound lingo, this is his seminal work. A deep book with strong theories on the magical interaction of sound and image.
There are many more (I'll do a further reading list sometime), but these are the ones I'd read again if my memory was suddenly wiped out by the M.I.B. If you have other recommendations for essential reading please post them below in the comments.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!