MPSE Wavelength

Summer 2020

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M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S I 45 naively jumped in and did it. It was a lot of fun. I also appreciated going with you to record a bear. I was kinda giddy about that, because you had told me you went with Ben to record the bear that became the voice of Chewbacca the Wookie in Star Wars! ...But THAT story will have to wait for another lunch! At this point in our talk, our sandwiches long since devoured… Richard's phone rang (which I amusingly learned is an old '60s spy movie sound e›ect that I use as MY ringtone as well!) and we needed to wrap up our talk … but we pledged to have lunch again in the very near future to talk more about his amazing body of work—of which we have only scratched the surface. RLA: One of the things I really like about working in sound, and movies in general, is that each movie is like taking a course in a subject. Final Countdown was a course on aircraft carriers and Navy jets. The Lion King was a course on African animals and bugs and birds. And you become an expert on it. And then you start your next movie, which is about drag racing—and all of a sudden, you have to learn all the world of drag racing! Richard L. Anderson won a Special Achievement Oscar for his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and two additional Oscar nominations for Poltergeist (1982) and Daylight (1996). He won an Emmy for sound design on Steven Spielberg's episode of Amazing Stories, "The Mission." He is now writing and directing films in both China and the U.S., including the recent co-production, Behind Bayonets and Barbed Wire (2016). Selected Filmography as Supervising Sound Editor: Hollywood Boulevard (1975) Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) The Final Countdown (1980) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Poltergeist (1982) 48 Hrs. (1982) Under Fire (1983) Gremlins (1984) 2010 (1984) The Goonies (1985) The Color Purple (1985) Harry and the Hendersons (1987) Predator (1987) Beetlejuice (1988) Tremors (1990) Exorcist III (1990) Edward Scissorhands (1990) Noises Off (1992) Batman Returns (1992) Hoffa (1992) Needful Things (1993) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) The Lion King (1994) Street Fighter (1994) The Little Rascals (1994) Dragonheart (1996) Daylight (1996) Dante's Peak (1997) Anastasia (1997) Antz (1998) Being John Malkovich (1999) Planet of the Apes (2001) The Majestic (2001) Agent Cody Banks (2003) Legally Blonde 2 (2003) Brother Bear (2003) Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (2004) Shark Tale (2004) Madagascar (2005) She's the Man (2006) Over the Hedge (2006) Flushed Away (2006) Shrek the Third (2007) Astro Boy (2009) Hop (2011) All the techniques and equipment, on which I learned to edit, such as mag film, Moviolas, razor blades, and quarter inch tape recorders, have been replaced by modern digital methods. So my advice to young people is to learn the theory and art behind sound recording and editing, not just the gear, since whatever they use today, will be on the scrapheap tomorrow. And another important thing is all the connections you make. I always say this to students—the way Hollywood works is that you form connections. And you want to make as many connections as possible, because you never know when somebody's going to work. You can form a line, from the first movie I worked on, to where I got established enough that people would hire me on my own name. Although Richard and I share lunches all the time, it was particularly fun getting to hear all these stories and to share them with you. And contacting his friends for the sidebar remembrances was a pleasure, because everyone loves Richard—and everyone just gushed the praises of this master of the craft of film sound editing. Until the next lunch … Keep Listening! Richard Anderson at his sound editing bench, June 1992. Photo courtesy the collection of The Hollywood Sound Museum

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