Sound designer for Stoker (2013), Chuck Michael
Sound is the most invisible part of the film. That’s probably why it’s quite rare for the sound of a movie to be mentioned in the press. But it happens, fortunately, and the film Stoker is a great example – this latest work by acclaimed Korean director Park Chan-wook premiered at this year’s Sundance, and since then the prolific and powerful sound design has been getting a lot of attention.
In the world’s leading movie magazine, Empire, the recent Blu-ray and dvd release received these accolades: “Park’s approach to sound design is unique, used not as a bed of noise but as an extension of character.” Chan-wook always had a keen interest in sound – check out both his breakthrough film Oldboy (2003) and the amazing thriller, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), in which the main character is deaf-mute.
Stoker is Chan-wook’s first US production – it’s actually a US-British-co-production – and we got hold of the LA-based sound designer, supervising sound editor and sound re-recording mixer, Chuck Michael, to talk about the extraordinary soundtrack. Below, he discusses the creative process behind the work and also touches upon this month’s Designing Sound subject, Noise.
We just wanted to take the time to thank our guest contributors this month:
For our featured Backgrounds and Ambiences articles…Chris Groegler, Chris Didlick, Douglas Murray, and Tim Prebble…Yann Seznec, Peter Chilvers, Robert Thomas, and Stephan Schütze for discussing interactive mobile applications…and thanks to Chuck Michael and Craig Henighan for sharing their thoughts on Dolby Atmos (as well as Josh Gershman and John Loose from Dolby for providing us with a little more data). And a big thank you also goes out to Ariel Gross for sharing his thoughts, and Brady Dyck for his interview with Rob Bridgett.
Thanks again gentlemen!
Remember…this is a site for the community, by the community. If you would like to contribute in the future, drop us a line.
Sitting there as credits rolled after a Dolby Atmos presentation of Brave this past summer, I felt excited for the potential of this budding format. Before the film, a few seated moms and dads were even verbally excited as the usher announce that we would be watching the film in a new sound format. During the film, the theater was saturated with sound, I truly felt immersed at times. Yet as I watched the credits fly by, I couldn’t help feeling that until sound crews sink their teeth into the format, we won’t really hear Atmos fully realized. For the format to really sparkle, films need to be designed, edited, and premixed with Atmos in mind or as Dolby would like it, premixed IN Atmos entirely. After reading about the impression Atmos left on Shaun at AES and trying to find a way to contribute to an already excellent month of ambient discussion, I decided I should contact a few sound crews that mixed in Atmos, ask how backgrounds are handled, and with that initial experience how they would approach BGs in their next Atmos mix.
Acting as a foundation with an origin story for a new film series, Director Rupert Wyatt takes the audience on the science fiction summer hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The stunning visual effects produced by Weta Digital for the apes are complimented by the wide range of sounds recorded and edited for the film.
Leading the sound team is supervising sound editor and sound designer Chuck Michael and co-supervisor John Larsen with the talents of first assistant sound editor Smokey Cloud and sound re-recording mixers Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett.
Chimp Haven serves as The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. They are an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide lifetime care for chimpanzees who have been retired from medical research, the entertainment industry or no longer wanted as pets. For more information visit: