Sunday, April 14, 2024
Subscribe Now

Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

HomeAwardsContender-Greg Russell/Kevin O'Connell-Sound Mix-Transformers, Spider-Man3

Contender-Greg Russell/Kevin O'Connell-Sound Mix-Transformers, Spider-Man3

-

Longtime postproduction mixing partners Kevin O’Connell and GregRussell were at the console once again, this time for director MichaelBay’s visual effects extravaganza Transformers, where extraterrestrialrobots battle for control of Earth. Making sense of literally hundredsof sound effects tracks, Russell describes his work on Transformers as”the most challenging and creative” of his career.
“We werecreating something from scratch that no one has ever seen or heardbefore,” says Russell. “There is no pattern to follow when you have aMack truck doing 75 mph turning into an 80 foot robot, going intobattle with another robot, fighting each other and hitting everyconcrete and metal post imaginable.”
The biggest challenge of themovie, according to Russell, was making creative choices about whatshould be heard in each scene. “You don’t want to overwhelm theaudience with too much material,” he says. Dialog is the other mainchallenge. “We try so hard to not obscure the story soundwise and tonot take away from key dialog and storypoint. As much as the soundeffects need to drive the story, we still need the story to be clear ascan be.”
Russell, who mixes sound effects, and O’Connell, whomixes the music and dialog, are both quick to credit sound editorsEthan Van de Ryn, Mike Hopkins and Erik Aadahl for their stunning anddetailed sound design for the movie. “Our job was to accommodate thesewonderful sounds and make it as believable as possible. It was a bigjob,” says Russell.
Playing down his own role, O’Connell insiststhat “the reason Transformers sounded so good is because the sounddesigners working together with Greg did an amazing job of crafting anenormous amount of sound effects into one of the most creative anddiverse sound tracks I have heard in years.”
But the film included agreat deal of music, and it was up to O’Connell to balance the musicand sound effects while making sure that the dialog tracks were cleanand audible. “One thing I asked Michael Bay was to think about a scenewhere we have no music at all. So he created several areas where wetook the music out altogether. In those places the sound designersstepped up to the plate and created terrific sound effects for thoseparts.”
O’Connell also shared the task of treating the robots’voices with the sound designers, coming up with the vocal treatmentsfor all of the English-spoken parts.
Working with Michael Bay was abreeze for the sound mixing team, since they’ve worked with thedirector on all of his movies. “The relationship has evolved over theyears,” says O’Connell, to the point where the director is now “veryinvolved in the process.”
One of Russell’s favorite scenes in themovie is the desert scene where the survivors of the attacked militarybase are confronted by a robot scorpion. “It’s an amazing shot andsequence and it makes full use of all of the surrounds, with missilesflying in and exploding on camera. Plus, all those sounds areinteresting and new. One of the things unique to Transformers is that90-percent of the movie was all new sounds.
“I’ve worked on a lot ofmovies, but never one where we have muscle cars, fighter jets andhelicopters transforming into robots and fighting. What I liked aboutTransformers is that it’s truly something I hadn’t seen before, andthat’s what makes it special,” he says.
Transformers is Russell’s12th Academy nomination and O’Connell’s 20th, but, surprisingly,neither mixer has ever taken home the Oscar. “I’ve had differentthoughts about it over the years,” says O’Connell, who holds the recordfor the most Oscar nominations with no win. “If I did win this year,after I’d picked my head up off the floor and put it back on my body, Iwould thank my mother, who died last year on the night of the AcademyAwards.”
–Sam Molineaux-Graham

2008 Nominations
Oscar, Best Achievement, Sound Mixing, Transformers
CAS Award, Outstanding Achievement, Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Transformers

2007 Nomination
Oscar, Best Achievement, Sound Mixing, Apocalypto

2006 Nominations
Oscar, Best Achievement, Sound, Memoirs of a Geisha
CAS Award, Outstanding Achievement, Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Memoirs of a Geisha
Golden Satellite Award, Best Sound, The Da Vinci Code

2005 Nominations
Oscar, Best Achievement, Sound, Spider-Man 2
BAFTA, Best Sound Spider-Man 2
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Spider-Man 2
Golden Satellite Award for best sound, Spider-Man 2

2003 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, Spider-Man
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Spider-Man

2002 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, Pearl Harbor
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Pearl Harbor

2001 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, The Patriot
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, The Patriot

1999 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, Armageddon
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Armageddon
Oscar, Best Sound, The Mask of Zorro
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, The Mask of Zorro

1998 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Con Air

1997 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, The Rock
Oscar, Best Sound, Twister
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, The Rock

1990 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Black Rain

Kevin O’Connell (additional):
1997 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, Twister
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Twister

1996 Nominations
Oscar, Best Sound, Crimson Tide
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, Crimson Tide

1994 Nomination
CAS Award, Outstanding Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures, In the Line of Fire

1993 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, A Few Good Men

1991 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Days of Thunder

1989 Win
Emmy, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Special, Lonesome Dove

1987 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Top Gun

1986 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Silverado

1985 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Dune

1984 Nomination
Oscar, Best Sound, Terms of Endearment

Written by Sam Molineaux

- Advertisment -

Popular

Brad Allan

Over the Weekend 8/9/21: Night Court‘s Markie Post Dies, The Suicide...

0
Unfortunately, this past weekend was one full of sadness as a number of prominent and beloved people from across our industry passed away. First up, Markie...

Beowulf and 3-D