A COLLABORATIVE POST BY SAM BUSEKRUS

 ASSISTANT EDITOR, BOOM BOX POST

There’s been plenty of great films that have come out within the past few months so I went around the office to see which ones were a big hit sound wise!

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How To Train Your Dragon 3

“This one popped into my head right away! In general, I love monster/dragon sounds so it was an easy one for me. I thought the sound design for the dragons was done really well for this film. I liked how the people characters and the dragon characters were designed to work together. Visually and sound design wise there was cohesiveness between each human and their dragon.

My favorite scene was when all of the dragons were together for a fight scene. I loved that you could hear the differences between the dragons flying by, not one sounded the same.” -BriElle

Us

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“I recently saw Jordan Peele’s Us in theaters and was really impressed with the sound design of the ‘other family.’ Supervising Sound Editor Trevor Gates and his team nailed a very difficult task: giving other-wordly voices to human characters. It was just the right amount of creepy to give me chills but still completely plausible to me that these sounds could come from these people. To hear high pitch barks from the father figure and low monster growls from the little boy was a fantastic juxtaposition. Super memorable and very well executed.” -Jeff

The Thin Red Line

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“The Thin Red Line is one of my favorite movies from a sound perspective. The sound of the film is dominated by intimate voice over narration and Hans Zimmer’s powerful score, but without the detailed editing and intelligent mixing choices, the film would not be what it is. For a little bit of context, “The Thin Red Line” focused on the conflict at the Guadalcanal during World War II. The movie came out in 1998, which is the same year that Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” was released. The two are compared because they present war in such different ways, which is especially reflective in the sound choices. The Thin Red Line used a naturalistic approach. It was said Terrence Malick had even banned the use of certain reverbs that would cause an unnatural sound to the world. This kind of restriction makes it extremely difficult for the sound team to make the movie sound like what audiences are accustomed to. I think the best approach utilized was to give value to very full, lush sound scenes by using them sparingly. At certain moments, there is no audible sound beyond the voiceover and score. It gives moments with more sound more weight. Though the audience didn’t hear an internal heartbeat, high pitch ringing, and over-the-top explosions, it was a different approach to getting a soldier’s perspective.” -Katie

The Mustang

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“It’s about a violent convicted felon that joins a prison rehabilitation program where they train wild mustang horses. The main character connects with one (also particularly violent) mustang and through sound design, they really portrayed how the two were similar and going through the same emotions. There was a scene where the horse was in a stable endlessly kicking the door and then later the convict was in his cell endlessly punching the wall in the same rhythmic pattern. Or the intro where we focus in on the mustang heavily breathing, then throughout the film they highlight the man heavily breathing when he is trying to control his anger. It’s moments like that, when sound design can really push the storytelling that I enjoy. My favorite scene was during major thunderstorm and they had to bring the mustangs into the prison kitchen for safety. The storm was very well done, slowly building, and contrasted with the violence of the wild horses as well.” -Ben

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