Sync or Swim: The Dark Side of the Rainbow


This is the first sync that I tried, seeing as how it’s the most well-known. The history of the phenomenon is, at least to the people I talk to about this, not as well-known. The kicker is that it started close to where I live.

Back in August of 1995, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published what is considered the first mainstream article about this phenomenon (article archived here). Within the article, some connections were highlighted for purposes of providing examples. As to the particular date the discovery was made, I do not know. Since then, it has become a part of not only Pink Floyd mythology, but also of Oz.

Seeing as how this particular sync has been analyzed many a time, I’ll go over some, not all, of the connections. I start with the third MGM roar. I use the first DVD print of the film and the album on CD.

The intro of “Breathe” portrays a mood of carefree spirit. The clouds during the credits float by like it’s a normal day. After the line “Look around” is said, Dorothy looks around.

“On the Run”, with the initials of “OtR”, plays during “Over the Rainbow”, also initialed “OtR”.

The clock chimes in “Time” occur when Miss Gulch enters the scene on her bike. “No one told you when to run,” happens when the scene cross-dissolves to Dorothy running away.

“The Great Gig in the Sky” is the tornado scene.

Now, of course the album isn’t the entire length of the film so it has to be played again. Most people stop after Act I, missing the other half of the experience. Act I, as most people who have tried this know, ends with Dorothy knocking on the Tin Man’s chest while the heartbeats on the album fade out. Act II, on the other hand, has some interesting moments as well.

“On the Run” is played when they are in the forest with the whole lions and tigers and bears line said. The strange effects fit with the atmosphere of the forest.

“The Great Gig in the Sky” plays during “King of the Forest.”

In “Brain Damage”, the Witch melts when you hear “The lunatic is on the grass.”

Because this particular sync is the most well-known and analyzed to the point where those who haven’t tried it already know what matches when. For those who want to try movie syncs, this is the starting point. While I admit that the sync works, I find it overrated as I know there are more exciting syncs if one chooses to go beyond what is well-known. Still, start here.

Sync grade: A-

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