Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
The beautiful thing about film as a collaborative medium is that, no matter how much I might dislike any given movie, there is almost always some aspect of the creative process that is interesting. Take Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. In a video interview with Sound Re-Recording Mixer Greg Russell, Supervising Sound Editor Erik Aadahl and Supervising Sound Editor Ethan Van der Ryn, we see and hear how some of the sounds of Michael Bay‘s Transformers sequel came to be.
The real meat of this clip kicks in after about two and a half minutes of too-typical “wow, this was a really exciting project!” talk. That’s when Erik Aadahl starts to talk about his process for recording firearms before leading into the way he and his crew found the ‘character’ for one of the film’s new robots. That little ‘eureka!’ flash that turns the sound of two small magnets into the core of a film character is one of the most beautiful parts of filmmaking. I’d like to see a lot more along those lines, and hope that more went into Revenge of the Fallen than just recording machine gun sounds.
Even with the fun little details that are discussed in this clip I wish I could be more enthusiastic about the sound of the film as a whole. It might be a problem inherent to exhibition, or one of mixing that boils down to the same arguments behind the “loudness wars” that have been destroying the art of CD mastering in the past few years. In other words, the movie was loud as shit, and the final presentation, while perhaps made up of thousands of cool little samples, obliterated a lot of the small details with pure bombast. One more reason to be thankful for DVD extras and small internet clips that show off what goes into a film.