The Sound Design of "Coraline"
Steinberg has published an interview with Steve Tushar and Ron Eng, sound designers on “Coraline”. They talk about their work in the film and also the use of Nuendo for their sound work.
Hello Steve, hello Ron! You’ve recently worked together on the film Coraline, which was directed by Henry Selick. What was special about the collaboration with him?
Ron: The best thing about working with Henry was his creativity and dedication to detail. He has very acute hearing and knowledge of sound design.
Steve: Plus, Henry really stepped it up a few notches with this film compared to “Nightmare before Christmas”. It looks so good that I don’t think the average person would even realize that it’s stop motion animation. Sometimes even I forgot that fact while looking at the scenes. I would only be reminded when I saw an unfinished scene to work on.
What were your roles in the production process? How did you use Nuendo in that project?
Ron: My role as sound designer was to create sounds for things that you wouldn’t normally find in a sound effects library, for instance, making a sound for a haunting mirror squeak, weird crickets or a world crumbling around us. Steve Tushar’s role was to concentrate on all of the real world sound effects such as impacts, cars, doors, hits, bangs, squeaks, etc., and organize them for the final mix.
Coraline is a 3D film using the elaborate stop motion technique. The film is often described as a “visual masterpiece”. What was (technically) the biggest challenge during the post-production work on Coraline?
Ron: The biggest challenge was to cut sound while only having a storyboard and unfinished pictures. Some of the more complex scenes we didn’t even see till late in the final mix process.
Steve: I agree with Ron here 110%. That is always the biggest challenge for animation jobs. Especially when they drop in a rough sketch that is only one frame per three or four seconds and they expect you to come up with the sound for it and you end up scratching your head for an hour.