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HomeAwardsAwards Portfolio: Karen Baker Landers/Ray

Awards Portfolio: Karen Baker Landers/Ray


It’s hard to ignore the ingenious sound design of Ray. Every scene in which legendary blues singer/pianist Ray Charles appears is lavishly layered with distinct sound effects that amplify and highlight the broad sound spectrum of Charles’ life. As an audience-member, the experience of being bathed with an aural palette that a normally sighted person would not normally be aware of is extremely powerful.Supervising sound editor Karen Baker Landers finessed the sound driven by the editing decisions of the film’s editor Paul Hirsch, which evoked how Charles navigated through life after losing his sight. She worked closely with re-recording mixer, Scott Millan at Sony Studios. Millan has since joined Baker Landers as part of the Ascent Media family.“Our biggest challenge on Ray was to try and let the audience hear the world as Ray Charles might have experienced it,” says Baker Landers. “This was particularly true in the flashback scenes and in the sequence where Ray transitions from being sighted to becoming blind.”Though she never met Ray Charles, Baker Landers was always a big fan of his music, which made the experience of working on the film that much more rewarding.Baker Landers is currently supervising sound editor for Ascendant Pictures’ The Big White. In 2004 she also co-supervised sound for Van Helsing and The Bourne Supremacy. – April MacIntyre

Written by April MacIntyre

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