MPSE Wavelength

Winter 2023

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Page 22 of 99

M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S I 21 The featured sounds are from films too numerous to count. There are specific sequences paying tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), War of the Worlds (1953), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and many, many others. Also included are audio tributes to the legendary cartoon sound effects from Disney, Hanna- Barbera, and Warner Bros. The speakers are surrounded by several custom-printed displays featuring pictures and text filled with the history of the sounds the audience is hearing. As our guests move around the venue to hear the montage from different areas of the room, they can read about how the sounds were created and the people behind them. Sound effects for the sequence in Poltergeist (1982), where the toys are flying around the children's room, is described in one of our panels. The toys were moved around (by real people, not poltergeists, of course) and recorded in a wide stereo pattern in a similarly sized room that helped make the event believable. The amazing "Electronic Tonalities" of Louis and Bebe Barron in the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) can be heard in the piece, and their work is described in one of our posters—which features a picture of the two of them in their Greenwich Village studio. One cannot forget the huge impact of the original Star Trek series and its iconic sounds. Supervised by Doug Grindstaff, the series utilized many original sounds "performed" on a custom-built box that cannibalized a Hammond organ, as well as sounds pulled from the Paramount and RKO sound effects library (including weapons blasts from the Martian war machines in the original War of the Worlds). These sounds continue to influence the franchise as it continues to grow today. Sounds created by the great Jimmy Macdonald for Disney are also represented in the exhibit. Many of the sounds he personally performed utilizing custom hand-built props are featured in an early sequence in the program. And of course, the brilliant work of Ben Burtt for the original Star Wars (1977) is detailed on one of our displays ... along with two images provided by Ben himself, showing him striking the suspended radio tower cable to create the main element of the Stormtrooper's blaster fire ... and an image of him recording the bear whose grunts and roars would become the voice of the Wookie, Chewbacca. What is particularly significant about the latter picture is that Ben's "assistant" for that recording session—who also took that very picture—was Richard Anderson, who joined us for our presentation. What is unquestionably one of the greatest inspirations for so many present-day sound designers is the work of the great Murray Spivack on the original 1933 version of King Kong. We pay tribute to his groundbreaking work in our display as well. In addition to the exhibit, I was invited to speak on several panel discussions at the convention, joined by several dear friends. Composer David Raiklen, who is another regular at Loscon, always joins our panels. Not only has he scored the fan- favorite science fiction series Space Command, as well as many other projects, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of movie music history. Sound and music artist Adrianne Grady is another frequent guest on our panels. She is the granddaughter of legendary sound editor Doug Grindstaff, who created many of the legendary sound effects for the original Star Trek TV series. She always has many fascinating stories about the craft. Finally, of course, the great Richard Anderson, Oscar-winning sound editor of Raiders of the Lost Ark— not to mention my co-host for The Hollywood Sound Museum podcast— joined us as well. One of our panels was devoted to the subject of "sound in space," where we playfully debated the merits of whether sound artists should represent reality and have no sound in space, as was used brilliantly in 2001: A Space Odyssey and the short-lived TV show Firefly ... or whether it's okay to take dramatic license and actually hear the explosions in space ... like in practically every other space movie. If you were unable to visit Loscon and listen to our exhibit there, you will get another chance very soon. At the time of this writing, The Hollywood Sound Museum is moving forward by actively planning our next presentation venue in the very near future. In addition to the sound effects montage, we hope to have several new and unique, fun educational exhibits sharing the craft of entertainment audio. Our hope and goal is that by sharing and passing along the history and the work of the brilliant sound artists who have come before us, we can motivate and inspire a new generation of artists to create new, fresh, imaginative work. Today, in a world where the technology advances daily and new gadgets and plug-ins are constantly created, it is easy to mistakenly believe that they are more important than imagination and creativity … and we are in serious danger of losing the creative wisdom in our craft. By encouraging new talent to go out into the world to record new original sounds and build their own fresh palette that no one has heard, we can help make their work stand out and ensure the legacy of our heroes who came before us. Please help support The Hollywood Sound Museum as we share the craft through programs like these to help make all this possible. Visit www.HollywoodSoundMuseum .org to learn more and make a contribution. Keep listening.

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