MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2023

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24 M PS E . O R G Guild, Local 771. At that time, I got a job contact to work in animation, Saturday-morning cartoons—Alvin and the Chipmunks and Rainbow Brite. I was given all the sound tasks. Because I am a classical violinist, it was very easy for me to learn how to listen to sound. That was my first experience in post-production sound. BF: When you enrolled in UCLA, were you clear it was going to be sound? Let's talk about what you thought you wanted to do. SSS: At UCLA, when I got into the film department, I wanted to do cinematography because I am very visual. Well, it turned out that production didn't work for me. I did not care for production at all. But with post-production, I could work 24 hours a day throughout the week. So, I thought I was going to be that picture editor. I did not know that sound was separate. Because I got a job opportunity at an animation house, Ruby-Spears, that's where I learned that sound was separate from picture. Sound was so easy that I continued that path. I completely connected with sound editing; it was so real. BF: From wanting to be in cine- matography to sound editing, you chose a very specific area of sound. How did you come about that decision? SSS: In 1984, I got an opportunity to interview with a company called Thunder Tracks. Richard Anderson, Stephen Flick, and Mark Mangini. They interviewed 10 women off the union roster. My last name is Schwalbe, so I was number 10. They were located in a medical center in Toluca Lake. All of the examination rooms were editing suites. They led me down a long hallway where they had created what they called "The Bozo Wall." It was all of the Oscar categories depicting Bozo the Clown. Best Director, Best Actor, Best Makeup, etc. I thought that was hilarious! During the interview, I sat in a director's chair while Stephen Flick and Richard Anderson sat on the floor. They asked me nothing about editing. They wanted to hear about my bicycle trip across Amer- ica, my time in New York City, etc. Afterward, as I was leaving, I found 35mm mag in a trashcan, grabbed a piece, labeled it Bozo Screams, and tacked it onto the Bozo Wall and called it Best Sound! I was hired the next day! Gremlins (1984) was my first union feature. I was Mark Mang- ini's sound assistant building tracks of all of the gremlin voices. After that, I was hired as the first sound assistant on The Flamingo Kid (1984) with Colin Mouat. Back at Thunder Tracks, they hired me as the first sound assistant on The Goonies (1985). A week after I start- ed, Richard Anderson walked into my cutting room and says, "Hey So- lange, do you want to supervise the Foley?" I had no idea what he was talking about. I mean, I knew what Foley was, but I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know what it took to supervise Foley. So, I gladly jumped on the boat, not having a clue what I was getting into. It was an incred- ible experience. It was at that time that Thunder Tracks changed their name to Screaming Lizards! Can you imagine going to a bank with a check from a company called Screaming Lizards? Hilarious!! Going from Gremlins to Goonies led to the opportunity to supervise the Foley on The Color Purple (1985). What an amazing experience! My life and my career just launched after that. And it was just one feature after another as a Foley supervisor; I have more than 175 feature credits, most of which are Foley. I stuck with Foley because I really loved the meaning of it. The defini- tion and concept of Foley is brilliant. Sound effects recorded live in sync on a Foley stage, watching picture and performing it at the same time. I just thought that was so cool. BF: What do you think is Foley's contribution to sound in a film? SSS: Foley is a major contributor to the overall concept of the sound Solange and Richard Anderson, 2017.

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