Ends June, and the Randy Thom Special too. Let’s see some interesing interviews and articles by Randy talking about his work, his techniques, and special sound development for several movies and games.
What is Sound Design?
You may assume that it’s about fabricating neat sound effects. But that doesn’t describe very accurately what Ben Burtt and Walter Murch, who invented the term, did on “Star Wars” and “Apocalypse Now” respectively. On those films they found themselves working with Directors who were not just looking for powerful sound effects to attach to a structure that was already in place. By experimenting with sound, playing with sound (and not just sound effects, but music and dialog as well) all through production and post production what Francis Coppola, Walter Murch, George Lucas, and Ben Burtt found is that sound began to shape the picture sometimes as much as the picture shaped the sound. The result was very different from anything we had heard before. The films are legends, and their soundtracks changed forever the way we think about film sound.
Scarface: The World Is Yours, a video game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games. It’s based on the 1983 motion picture Scarface with André Sogliuzzo hand picked by Al Pacino to provide Tony Montana’s voice. It was released on the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox on October 8, 2006, and on the Wii on June 12, 2007.
“The game spent five weeks being mixed in the same way that a Hollywood motion picture is mixed: balancing dialogue, sound effects and music on a THX-calibrated sound stage at Skywalker — something that has never been achieved before in video game production and ensuring every sound will be heard as the developers intended it.”
Academy Award winner Randy Thom served as lead sound designer, in his first work in the video game space.
Continuing with the Randy Thom Special, let’s talk about Forrest Gump, a great 90’s movie with the awesome work of Randy Thom on the sound.
“Working in Northern California, I’m lucky to be able to wear several movie-sound hats. I think it would slowly drive me nuts to be a rerecording mixer all the time or to edit or “sound design” all the time. So I try to alternate between these different jobs, trying to be facile enough in each while keeping a kind of useful innocence and naivete at the same time. Though all movies have some things in common, it is usually a big mistake to assume that what worked on the last one will work on the next one. Doing the sound for Forrest Gump may have been the most pleasant working experience I’ve had. Steve Starkey, the Line Producer of the film, approached me about working on it at the Lucasfilm July 4th picnic in ’94. He knew I had grown up a Louisiana redneck and he figured I would know what kinds of sounds to put into this movie about a southern guy.”
As you know, Randy Thom is the June’s featured Sound designer. Let’s talk about Ratatouille, an animated movie produced by Pixar and distributed by Disney Pictures and whose sound design was done by Randy Thom. Ratatouille was nominated for five Academy Awards, 13 Annie Awards, and won the Best Animated Feature Award from multiple associations.
Well, let’s talk about our part: The Sound.
- Sound Designer: Randy Thom
- Supervising Sound Editors: Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
- Re-recording Mixers: Randy Thom (FX) and Michael Semanick (DX/MX)
- Original Dialog Mixer: Doc Kane
- Sound Mix: SDDS | Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES
- Studios: Skywalker Sound
I created a “special category” called Featured. My idea is to make a special coverage of a sound designer and talk about it during each month. The objective is to learn more in depth about each major industry professionals.. For example, this month I decide to start with Randy Thom, and in the next days I’m gonna make some posts about him and talk about his work.
I decided to start with Randy Thom not only by his work as sound designer and recording mixer, but also for his excellent work as Director of Sound Design at the recognized Skywalker Sound.