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Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 | 6 comments

Creating a Unified Voice

HandsIn

Image by flickr user woodleywonderworks. Used under Creative Commons license.

This article is not what I originally intended. I started it, nearly completed it and then decided to rewrite it from a different angle. It’s core subject remains intact, speaking to our collaborators…the people who hire us to make their pieces of media “sound good.” Whether we work in film, television, games, mobile applications, interactive art installations or any other existing or emerging medium, the majority of us work in service to another. Many a sound professional can be found lamenting the working situation they find themselves in; proclaiming, “ if only…”

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Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 | 0 comments

The Carpetbagger Blog Talks to Steve Boeddeker and Randy Thom

The Carpetbagger, a New York Times blog dedicated to the film awards season we are now in the flush of, has spoken to Steve Boeddeker and Randy Thom at Skywalker Sound.

“Before there was a here here, I was here,” said Randy Thom, the director of sound design at Skywalker Sound, part of George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch complex outside of San Francisco. “It used to be called Sprocket Systems, in the earliest days, and it became Skywalker Sound in the mid ’80s,” said Mr. Thom, who first worked with the company on “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Randy talks a little bit about the history of the Ranch and Skywalker Sound, and there’s a 5 minute video that includes interviews with both Steve and Randy.

Check it out here.

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 | 20 comments

Recording FX In 5, 6, 8, Or More Channels?

Guest Contriubtion by Randy Thom

BTA_Randy_Thom

Acoustic Authenticity Versus Entertainment Value

When designing a set for a film, the art director tries to use what is good about the real world place where the scene will be shot, but also tries to avoid being straight jacketed by what is there. The cinematographer usually has a similar approach in deciding what to shoot and how to shoot it. The director may want to put some local people in a scene, but they probably won’t be leading characters.

Sound design should be the same, I think. With the proliferation of multi-channel microphones in recent years, some with “5.1” channels and more, the promise of being able to capture and reproduce the aural sensation of being in a real place with three dimensional acoustics is definitely closer to being real…but is it desirable? I’d say the answer is usually “no.”

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Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Film Music and Sound Design Brought Closer Together With New Sundance Partnership

Skywalker SoundSundance Institute
Where does a film’s score end and sound design begin? A new partnership between the Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound will seek to bring these two components of the film soundtrack closer together, with the aim of fostering a more integrated dialogue between filmmakers, sound designers and score composers.
Composers Lab, Sundance’s annual mentoring scheme for aspiring film composers, will relocate to the Skywalker Sound complex in Marin County, California. Academy Award-winning sound designer Randy Thom, Director of Sound at Skywalker Sound, is enthusiastic about the partnership, and that emerging film composers and sound designers will have the opportunity to communicate and collaborate more openly.
Read the full story here.
Press release from Sundance Institute here.
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