MPSE Wavelength

Winter 2023

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Page 34 of 99

BY ERIC MARKS MPSE M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S I 33 I t's 4:30 a.m. on a Wednesday. Flashes of lightning illuminate a pitch-black horizon in the San Fernando Valley. Thomas Newman's haunting Road to Perdition soundtrack blasts from my car speakers. The clock reads 5:15 a.m. as I exit the 405 toward Redondo Beach, and the sun has slid behind dense clouds. The lightning stops. The weather conditions have frozen, and in dramatic fashion, to photograph supervising sound editor Scott Hecker looking out over the Pacific Ocean at dawn. Michael Sullivan Jr. once similarly looked out over Lake Michigan in the opening shot of Road to Perdition. This morning is a microcosm of Scott's illustrious career. From a distance, the stars have perfectly aligned themselves for every golden opportunity imaginable. Look closer and you'll see that somehow, someway, this is all by design. Scott has worked tirelessly for decades to chisel out the sonic universes for movies such as 300, Mad Max: Fury Road, Man of Steel and countless others. It's the result of immense creativity, team building, and an innate ability to dig his heels in and do whatever it takes to succeed. This has resulted in deep trust with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood. Twenty years ago, his work on Road to Perdition was recognized with an Academy Award nomination. Scott may not control the weather just yet, but perhaps that lightning from behind the clouds will reveal itself again when the time is just right.

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