MPSE Wavelength

Winter 2023

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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 17 My bosses there, knowing that I had grown up in the sci-fi community, asked me one day if I'd like to go to the World Science Fiction Convention being held in Atlanta that year, to assist with the studio's exhibits and presentations. Fox had several big releases they were promoting which included The Fly, The Manhattan Project, SpaceCamp, and Aliens. We even had a display with several props from the films. One of the Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) creature figures created by Chris Wallas (who would ultimately win an Oscar for his work) was a quite popular photo-op. My co-workers and friends on the convention staff also knew of my interest (perhaps "obsession" is a more appropriate word) with film sound, and they asked if I'd like to have a small space that was unoccupied in the exhibit hall for a science fiction/fantasy film sound effects exhibit. I immediately leapt at the opportunity and quickly assembled a collection of sound effects, audio film clips, and original interviews I had recorded, to create a presentation of movie sound history—with a leaning toward science fiction/fantasy films. I then edited, mixed, and mastered the materials to an 8-track tape that played continuously for the duration of the convention. It featured sounds from many films such as War of the Worlds, Star Wars, Gremlins, and Star Trek. I also made sure to include several of the Fox films that were being promoted. A sequence featuring sounds from Aliens was especially popular. The sounds were explained in clips taken from my own interviews with Ben Burtt, Mark Mangini, and other sound artists. It was a lot of fun and got a bit of attention. A couple of years later, I would begin my career in film sound, getting the chance to actually work with several of the people who contributed to the exhibit ... which was actually one of my ulterior motives to create it in the first place. Jump ahead 30 years to 2016, when I started developing The Hollywood Sound Museum… and was invited to speak at Cinsonika, a sound- themed seminar held at Ball State University. I was honored and humbled to share the stage with several sound professionals and dear friends—including Foley artist Vanessa Theme-Ament, Oscar-winning sound editor David Stone (Dracula), production mixer Peter Damski, and Rick Altman, author of Sound Theory, Sound Practice. Loscon panel. (L-R): David Raiklen, Adrianne Grady, Steve Lee Jimmy Macdonald. Photos courtesy of The Hollywood Sound Museum

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