MPSE Wavelength

Spring 2022

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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 53 around 2002 I transitioned into features. So yeah, it's been over 20 years since I started. PL: This article focuses on animation editorial, but I definitely want to cover some other things as well. I know, this is like a very simple question. Can you go back to the beginning when you started? When you first started doing animation sound, what did you find the challenges were? EA: Well with animation, you're starting with a completely blank canvas. There's a potential to really create whatever you can imagine from scratch. I think the biggest challenge is finding what the "sonic soul" of the movie is, and then start to craft those soundscapes based on that. So, for a project like Kung Fu Panda, you know the theme is Kung Fu, and the first thing we start to do is collect the sound ingredients for that. And that involves just a ton of recording. I think we recorded maybe over 150 different flavors of just whooshes alone. Andy Nelson and Anna Behlmer mixed that movie at Fox and during lunch time, I would go in and I'd attach weird things onto strings, and swing them around past the microphone. We found that it would be really fun for each character to have their own signature whoosh sound. Shifu was played by Dustin Hoffman, he's the small little Kung Fu master and is very quick and precise with his movements. A spatula wound up being the perfect sound for his Erik Aadahl wooshes, and really sharp slicing through air sounds. Whereas, Po the panda, played by Jack Black, he's much more lumbering and big roly-poly. We used bigger, whoosh sounds for him like pool cues swinging around, they're much thicker fatter kind of sounds. And for some of his jumping, we wound up stretching 100 feet of bungee cord across the stage and whip lashing that across the mics. You know, just a big kind of sound. PL: Oh my god, that sounds so fun.• EA: For me, one of the most exciting parts of doing animation sound, is you can be really hyper-expressive and whimsical. With the sound you

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