Filmmaking & Sound Design

One of the most exciting audio industries is filmmaking: from the everyday sound effects that we've come to take for granted to the instantly recognizable sounds of things that have only ever existed in the movies, there's a whole universe of audio with its own cinematic language. In these episodes, we focus on that hidden language of sound we all grew up learning without even thinking about it, how it's used to tell stories and create impossible worlds that seem vividly real, and the invaluable role cinematic film techniques and sound design play when it comes to audio branding.

Filmmaking: Bringing the Impossible to Life

We look at the art of filmmaking and the innovative approach of its sound artists throughout the years, from Jack Foley, the groundbreaking Hollywood sound designer who inspired a whole new profession of “Foley artists,” to the sound technicians who brought to life such impossible sounds as King Kong’s famous roar or the hum of a lightsaber swinging through the air. These podcasts feature interviews with directors, producers, and composers who help us delve deeper into the importance of cinematic audio, from building the right soundtrack to improvising completely new sound effects.

Sound Design: Hearing is Believing

Sometimes what we don't hear can be as important as what we hear, and we speak with a multitude of sound designers and industry experts about the process of creating just the right audio impression. Whether it's using special silent movie props to mask distracting sounds or adding sound effects that we've grown accustomed to hearing over the years, such as the coconut clomp of galloping horses, there's a lot of work that goes into designing the right soundscape. Each episode looks at the subtle magic of cinematic sound, and how that same approach is being applied to commercial branding.

From catchy theme songs and memorable slogans to the slight beeps and clicks that we don’t even think about hearing, Hollywood movies and audio branding are both filled with sound effects that draw us into their world without our even noticing it. Each one aims to engage its audience and make a memorable first impression, and, most importantly, to always leave them wanting more.

Audio Design and Game Development: A Conversation with Chris Hegstrom – Part 2

Audio Design and Game Development: A Conversation with Chris Hegstrom – Part 2 “But you don’t know how that user is going to do it. Are they going to somersault through the entire level? Are they going to climb up a wall and jump down? And are they going to just sit in a corner […]

From Cinema to Video Games: A Conversation with Chris Hegstrom – Part 1

From Cinema to Video Games: A Conversation with Chris Hegstrom – Part 1 “I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was my first introduction into user experience, right? Like a UX or user experience. It’s exactly that. It’s like I could put a microphone out in a storm and then all I get […]

The Sound of Movies – Why Hollywood’s Becoming Harder to Hear

When was the last time you turned on the subtitles while watching a movie? Does it ever seem like the music and sound effects, especially the explosions, are as loud as ever, but the dialogue’s barely above a whisper? Does it seem like older movies, movies like Jaws and Star Wars, were easier to understand? […]

The Sounds of Silence – A Tale of Noiseless Movie Props

Have you ever thought about how quiet the world of television and movies can be? If two characters are eating at a restaurant or working in an office, we don’t have to worry about trying to hear them over the sound of clinking glasses or crinkling paper, or anyone else who might be making too […]

Dangerous Beeps: An Interview With Michael Schutz – Part 2

“I think doctors use a term called modifiable risk factor, I’ve learned, because I talk to a lot of doctors now, and so there are some things we can modify and some things that we can’t. And so these alarm sounds are very much a modifiable risk factor, and we need to work together to […]

Dangerous Beeps: An Interview With Michael Schutz – Part 1

“Ultimately the sound is almost irrelevant to the musical experience, with the important caveat that what matters about the sound is the psychological process it triggers in the mind of the listener. So it obviously plays an important role there, but what really matters is how it’s being perceived and how it’s being heard. So […]