Skywalker Sound Profiled

Cnet News heads for the hills of Marin, Calif., and takes an extensive tour of Skywalker Sound and the sound designers who make the audio magic happen for various movies including Ratatouille.

What is “rat POV?” According to Randy Thom, Skywalker Sound’s two-time Academy Award-winning director of sound design, that was the challenge he faced when creating the sound effects for one particular scene in Ratatouille. He was tasked with making it seem like the world is small and distant when the film’s main rat, Remy, is on a shelf high above the floor of a Parisian restaurant. But when Remy falls to the floor, everything needs to sound larger than life.

If you’ve seen the film, you’d probably agree that Thom succeeded. But you would never know that to create that effect, it took him more than 200 separate sound effects, including footsteps, fire, voices, clattering pans, and much, much more.

This is the kind of work that goes on every day at Skywalker Sound, the main tenant of Skywalker Ranch, a sprawling estate hidden in the rolling hills of Marin County north of San Francisco. And while the recent completion of most of the films with December theatrical releases means it’s slow season here, Skywalker Sound is also gearing up for Oscar campaign season, when the company makes its push to get Academy Award nominations for best sound and best sound effects editing for some of the films it worked on during the year.

This year, Skywalker Sound will be making that push for at least four films: Beowulf, Ratatouille, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Read the full article here:
The hills are alive with the sounds of Skywalker

Listen to the podcast feature here:
Podcast: Listening in on Skywalker Sound

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