Mix Magazine has published a detailed article on the sound of Jon Favreau’s recent film, ‘Cowboys & Aliens‘. It features interviews with Favreau’s long time re-recording mixer/sound designer Chris Boyes, supervising sound editor Frank Eulner, sound designer David Farmer, composer Harry Gregson-Williams, music editor Meri Gavin and score engineer/mixer Malcolm Luker.
I was about 20 seconds into the first preview for the film last fall when it dawned on me that Cowboys & Aliens must have been really fun to work on sound-wise, and indeed, interviews conducted during the final mix in mid-June with supervising sound editor Frank Eulner, FX sound designer/mixer Christopher Boyes and sound designer Dave Farmer confirmed my suspicions. As Boyes puts it, “For both Frank and me, it was a gas because one thing about this film is it honors the Western tradition, and you are very much in a Western film when it opens and whenever we’re being cowboys in the West. We’re very true to the desert and the town. But then it’s this whole other thing, too.”
Neither Boyes nor Eulner had a pure Western under his belt (Boyes came close with the wonderful animated Rango earlier this year), but each brought extensive experience in different genres to this film—including work on the two Iron Man movies together. Multiple Oscar-winner Boyes’ CV lists the blockbusters Tron: Legacy, Avatar, The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean series, and King Kongamong many others; while Eulner’s resumé includes such films asHellboy, Saving Private Ryan, The Village, Blue Velvet, Backdraft andMars Attacks! For Cowboys & Aliens, sound designer Farmer worked exclusively on the alien side, creating creature vocalizations and some alien crafts and weapon sounds. He is particularly well-known for his imaginative creature voices, having worked on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, Red Riding Hood and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, as well as videogames in the God of War series,BioShock 2 and many others.
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