"The Force of Sound" is an aural history of a galaxy far, far away

Posted on: February 20th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Disney(LOS ANGELES) — A new ABC News documentary takes a closer look at — or, rather, a closer listen to — the Star Wars galaxy.

The film, The Force of Sound, is an aural history — that’s “a-u-r-a-l” — of the team at Skywalker Sound, whose ingenuity helps bring to life George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away…in many cases, by recording sounds in our real world. 

“Good sound helps add richness and believability to the images you are seeing and do a lot to convince your brain that what you are seeing is real,” John Knoll, the writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, tells ABC News.

“The sound of rending metal and cracking glass can create the illusion that you’re seeing more detail in our crashing spaceship shot than there really was, because our friends at SkySound are using a different pathway into your brain to convey that information.”

Longtime Star Wars fans may remember behind-the-scenes footage of original Star Wars sound editor Ben Burtt tapping spoons on wires to make the original saga’s iconic blaster sounds, or mixing the hum and clackety-clack of an old movie projector to create the sound of a lightsaber. 

Burtt’s successor, Matthew Wood, as well as Ren Klyce, have received Oscar nominations for sound editing on the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.  David Parker and Michael Semanick earned additional nominations for for sound mixing.

Last Jedi’s director Rian Johnson, can’t say enough about his team.

“It doesn’t feel like a movie until you get that sound mix tuned in,” he says. “When you get on that stage — the sound just completes things. It’s impossible to describe the degree to which the sound makes those visuals work.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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