MPSE Wavelength

Winter 2023

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I worked with on Smallville. The 100 was an absolute beast. Over time it continued to grow in scope. We had armies of people with various languages, huge battle scenes, people in different kinds of masks, and lots of outdoor scenes in difficult conditions. After a few seasons, they started to write me into the script. I have a page here framed and signed by the show's creator Jason Rothenberg. "Although we don't see it, we drop down with Abby. The great Charlie Crutcher, aka the master of sonic disaster, will make sure we hear every cry, crunch and gurgle." That was a nice nod to me and my team. MA: Did you find having award wins and nominations affected your ability to land more work? CC: Working at Universal Studios, I won a Golden Reel Award for Roar and picked up three Emmy nominations in one year, for The Beast, Sliders and The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best. It was the perfect opportunity to promote myself. I updated my IMDB, and proudly re-worked my résumé. It felt good. In 2009 I won an Emmy for my work on Smallville with Michael Lawshe and crew. Not too long after this, I started to get some opportunities to supervise more of my own shows. Around this time in my career, I realized work is all about relationships. Future shows were always connected to somebody I've worked with in the past. We get so caught up in work that it's easy to lose touch with people. I learned a simple phone call to people I've worked with on shows in the past can go a long way. It's best to do it when you are busy and unavailable so you don't call every time you're looking for work, otherwise, you will become a pest. These friendships are important. I often get calls for advice when producers are working with other teams and vice versa. That's the kind of friendship you want. You ultimately want to be their first call when they need a sound team. MA: You worked with Christopher Nolan on Memento back in the 2000's as an ADR supervisor. How was this experience working with someone that went on to be such a prolific director? CC: Richard LeGrand and Gary Gerlich were the sound supervisors on Memento. I was the ADR supervisor. It was an amazing film directed by Christopher Nolan and written by him and his brother Jonathan. It was a great experience for me. I was young and naive and a lot quieter than I am now. I didn't want to speak out of turn and you're not going to direct Christopher Nolan. So I just took my notes, cut the ADR and got it to the stage. I ran into him many years later at Warner Bros. when he was doing The Dark Knight Rises. He remembered me. We had a brief chat and that was it. In hindsight, would I have become "his guy" if I kept in touch with him? Maybe. That experience always has me looking back, reminding me that I didn't follow up. And because of that, it kind of catapulted me to start becoming that guy. I started being a little bit more talkative and more personable. I learned to keep in touch with people. MA: Up until Smallville, you jumped between features and TV work. What influenced you to move full time to TV ? CC: It was survival, pure and simple. Before Smallville, I was working a lot with Richard LeGrande, who is currently in charge of the BluWave Audio at Universal. At the time he and Harry Snodgrass were running the feature department. Sam Webb was the assistant, along with a few of us as his core crew: Gary Gerlich, Bill Hooper, Walter Spencer, Bob McNabb and myself. We were doing many features and occasional restoration projects, including Hitchcock and Spielberg films. Richard brilliantly brought Chuck Campbell, the original sound supervisor for E.T. out of retirement to help us with that project. We needed to do a full remix in 7.1 surround sound and add SFX to some new scenes they added. Chuck had never worked in the digital arena before. One day he sat (L to R) Sam Crutcher, Norval D. Crutcher II, Chuck Campbell, and Charlie Crutcher.

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