At age 16, Hecker first witnessed a session of foley — named after legendary Hollywood sound effects pioneer Jack Foley. After graduating from high school, Hecker dedicated himself to learning the craft during a six-month apprenticeship with his stepfather Bob Rutledge, who owned a sound editorial company.
More than 30 years later, Hecker, 51, has collaborated with top supervising sound editors such as Wylie Stateman and Lon Bender and won four Golden Reel Awards for his craft. He’s working on projects including director Zack Snyder‘s “Man of Steel” with his brother, supervising sound editor Scott Hecker.
Join Diego as he shares with you how soundtracks can be generated by playing unlikely sources. Whether it’s amplifying a tree or wringing harmonious noise from a trash can, this auditory-focused workshop will have you searching for soundwaves in new places.
For quite a few years, sound design for trailers has become increasingly creative and interesting. For blockbusters in Hollywood, an imaginative trailer campaign seems to be more and more important and sound is quite often utilized in inspired and inspiring ways.
One of the top sound designers of Hollywood trailers is Bryan Jerden who has worked on prominent movie trailers such as Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Inception, among many others. Bryan has also done a large amount of game trailers including titles like Hitman, Syndicate and Dragons Dogma. In this interview, he talks about his background, creative methods, the interplay between music and sound and why silence is such an important tool for sound designers.
Designing Sound: How did you get involved in doing sound design for trailers?
Bryan Jerden: My work in the trailer world came as result from working for Tim Gedemer who is now the owner of Source Sound Inc. A little more than 10 years ago I started working with Tim as a sound editor and studio technician. It was a great match for me because I had spent almost 10 years prior to that as a sound engineer and music mixer recording rock bands. Tim is an accomplished guitar player as well as a real music guy so we hit it off in a way I could not have done with someone who was purely a post sound personality.
Right away I was attracted to trailers because I saw it as a mixed skill set. I liked the fact that it involved working directly with music. I loved that it had opportunities for designing sound, that it involved skillful sound editing, working with feature film tracks, dialogue and other disciplines all in the same package.
Sound design became a passion for me, something I just loved to do. When I could I would listen to other sound designers tracks always trying to figure out the different processes. When I was on editing jobs I would always sneak in my own designs just to see if they would stick. If I didn’t have enough time to do my editing job and try sound design, Tim would let me come in and try stuff out on my own and if he like it he would keep it.
In the last several years creating sound design and cutting sound effects for trailers and even video game cinematics have become my life, but with that there is always the inevitable music editorial and dialogue work.
For someone who considers themselves the ultimate Batman fanatic (I freely admit, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to this), just the opportunity to meet Christopher Nolan would have been enough. To visit the sound stage, where “The Dark Knight Rises” sound-mixing took place would have been enough. Even just getting to see the movie a few weeks ahead of everyone else definitely would have been enough. But getting to do all three? I don’t know if I can even put that into words.
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