Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime

The Pitch: Film may be considered a visual medium first and foremost, but let’s not forget how sound innovated the art of motion pictures and continues to advance cinema to this very day. The documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound talks to some of cinema’s most influential filmmakers and expert sound designers to ensure you remember how important sound is to the movies. Learn about the history of sound on film, meet the most revered professionals in the field, and find out how all the audio you hear in cinema can be categorized into three different parts: voice, sound effects, and music.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Whether you’re a seasoned cinephile or an up-and-coming film fanatic, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound is fundamental viewing that will help you understand and appreciate the importance of sound on another level. Surely you’ve appreciated the art of a film score or the blasting of sound effects in a blockbuster, but have you ever truly sat down and appreciated the variety of sounds that bring a story to life in front of your eyes? Making Waves will make sure you do exactly that the next time you watch a movie, whether it’s a quiet indie drama or a big booming blockbuster. Read More »

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound Trailer

There have been plenty of documentaries shining a light on the various facets of filmmaking, but one that we’ve yet to see covered extensively is sound design. That’s about to change with Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, a new documentary focusing on sound designers and the work they do to bring a film to life through the audio that accompanies the moving images we see on the screen.

In Making Waves, filmmakers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, and Ryan Coogler talk abut the importance of great sound design in their movies. Through the film, we get to meet some of the best sound designers in the business, such as Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now), Ben Burtt (Star Wars) and Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan), and get an inside look at how they are an invaluable part of the cinematic process. Watch the Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound trailer below. Read More »

Making Waves Review

When I was going through film school, I grimaced when I was assigned the audio position. Whether I held the recorder or the boom mic, I remember feeling low. But soon, I learned that gathering sound was integral as I hovered the boom mic to an air vent or the whistling grass. I am proud to call myself “once an Audio Kid.”

If you ever hovered a boom mic before, you’ll know sound–and silence–is crucial to every film. Sound can be as grand as fiery explosions, as casual as footsteps, as minuscule as a puddle splash, or complex like a robot speaking in their own language. Think about the iconic robotic chitter of R2-D2 in Star Wars, the steaming of plane engines in Top Gun, the churning helicopter blades that externalize the madness within Vietnam soldier’s head in Apocalypse Now, and the War-Is-Hell cacophony of gunfire in Saving Private Ryan.  

As a Hollywood sound editor herself, director Midge Costin pieced together an appreciative documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound glancing into the history and the anatomy of film sound. Read More »