As sound editors, speaking about sound design with clients requires a kind of foreign language. I often find myself making silly noises in an effort to either interpret what a client is looking for or to pitch an idea of my own. There’s a shorthand however, that both editor and filmmaker are aware of. An entire language has been laid out for us in the incredible work of sound designers past. I’m talking about films that are ‘in the canon’ for having memorable sound design moments.
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To kick off a new class of interns (and score some cool new sound elements for our library), I asked Boom Box Post intern James Singleton to create a selection of lightsaber/laser sword sound effects. The original Star Wars trilogy is chalk full of classic sound effects that continue to inspire our field today, and recreating old favorites is a great way to flex sound design muscles and explore unconventional techniques. I requested James work primarily from recordings and sounds created specifically for this project, and take inspiration from Ben Burtt's original methods. To wrap up the project I asked him to tell me a little about his process for creating the final sound effects.