The Sound of “Prometheus”
While set in the same fictional universe of Ridley Scott’s original offering, and sharing some of its key dramatic events, the director is clear in his intention that his latest film Prometheus is unrelated to the rest of the original franchise. There had been talk of a fifth Alien movie — with Scott reportedly committing to a sequel or prequel a decade ago — but it took 20th Century Fox to persuade the director to cast his unique vision of the origins and purpose of the Alien civilization, while also explaining the genesis of the enigmatic Space Jockey that forms a direct link to the original space explorers from 1979’s landmark motion picture. Sequel, prequel or neither, Prometheus is scheduled for release June 8 through 20th Century Fox.
In essence, the film (originally to be called Paradise) follows a team of scientists as they journey on the spaceship Prometheus to the distant planet of Erix to terraform the world. The crewmembers discover, however, that what they experience from the indigenous life forms is not just a threat to themselves, but to mankind. Prometheus takes advantage of new-generation sound technologies, while very much paying tribute to the original offering. As Michael Fassbender, who plays David, the artificial person in Prometheus, confirmed: “By the end of the third act, you start to realize there’s a DNA of the very first Alien, but none of the subsequent films,” with imagery inspired by its original conceptualist, H.R. Giger.
Working with elements coordinated by supervising sound editors Mark Stoeckinger and Victor Ennis from Soundelux, the intricate soundtrack was re-recorded at Fox’s John Ford Stage in West Los Angeles by Doug Hemphill (sound effects) and Ron Bartlett (dialogue and music). Creature sound design effects — of whichPrometheus features a wide range — were fashioned by Ann Scibelli, Alan Rankin and Harry Cohen. Other members of the sound crew included Foley mixers James Ashwill and Blake Collins; Foley editors Bob Beher, Bruce Tanis and Glenn T. Morgan; Sandy Buchanan handling the recording of computer voices; ADR engineer Derek Casari; ADR recordists Glen Gathard and James Hyde; ADR mixer Andy Stallabrass; dialogue editor Margit Pfeiffer; music editors Joseph Bonn and Del Spiva; and sound effects editor Tim Walston.