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.
Sound designer and recordist Charles Mayne has written a passionate and inspiring guest post for the A Sound Effect blog. He gives his thoughts on the key notions and ideas that affects sound design, and which have the greatest capacity to produce – in his words – great sound design.
Check out the article here and contribute to the debate.
Guest Contriubtion by 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.”
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
I’ve been a bit remiss in my duty lately, and there are several people who need to be thanked for their contributions on the site. To begin, let me thank two gentlemen who contributed in May:
…And for June:
And finally, the new faces around here:
- John Black
- Cormac Donnelly
- Sam Ejnes
- Johsua Kaplan
- Doron Reizes
- Marie Tueje (who is just joining the site now…Welcome!)
- Everyone else from the community who stepped forward, willing to volunteer their time to the site. We truly appreciate the amazing response the call for help received.
Thank you, all!