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Soundelux’s Glenn Morgan Strives For Realism In The Way

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Soundelux's Glenn T. Morgan Served as supervising sound editor for The Way.
The Way, the new film written and directed by Emilio Estevez, tells the story of an American doctor named Tom (played by Estevez’s father, Martin Sheen) who travels to France to recover the body of his estranged son. Rather than return home, Tom decides to complete a trek begun by his son through rural France and Spain along El Camino de Santiago – a legendary road originally traveled by St. James. Along the way, Tom’s trek transforms into a spiritual journey that profoundly effects his sense of family, friends and the challenges of life.

The film’s sound elements were prepared by supervising sound editor/sound designer Glenn T. Morgan of Soundelux. Because the film’s story is deeply personal and intimately connected to the small villages and rugged countryside that surrounds El Camino de Santiago, Morgan was challenged to craft sound that was real and richly detailed.

To accomplish that task, Morgan relied heavily on production sound elements. “Although the film is not a documentary, it has very much of a first person feel,” he explained. “It was very important to keep it raw and real. For that reason, we tried to use as much production dialogue as possible – to resist the urge to reshoot dialogue and rather pay a lot of attention to how we cut things to bring out the words.”

Morgan also devoted considerable time to research in order to bring authenticity to the sound effects, taking care, for example, to choose bird sounds from species native to particular areas depicted in the film. Foley effects were recorded in outdoor environments similar to those in the film in order to capture the proper ambiance.

Loop groups were also recorded in an unusual manner. While such talent groups typically speak English, Morgan employed talent who were native speakers of French, Spanish, Basque and other European languages. “We wanted to give it an international flair, so there is absolutely no English,” he said. “When they make international versions of this film, they won’t need to dub the loop group. Our group will live forever.”

The Way is one of three current independent films where Morgan served as supervising sound editor. The others are Circumstance, which recently captured the Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and Warrior, a gripping family tale of finding forgiveness.

Morgan counts himself lucky to have an opportunity to contribute to such quality films. Regarding The Way, he said he was deeply moved by the story, a feeling shared by other members of the sound team. “It’s an amazing story – so touching and well done,” he said. “It was an honor to work on this film, a true labor of love.”

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