Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom Describes "Subliminal" Work for 'Ad Astra' on THR's 'Behind the Screen'

Ad Astra inset Gary Rydstrom - Photofest - H 2020
Photofest; Getty Images

Sound pro Gary Rydstrom, who has won a remarkable seven Oscars and earned a total of 18 nominations, describes his work on James Gray's Ad Astra in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Behind the Screen series recorded at Skywalker Ranch.

Rydstrom's credits include such classics as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan, for which he earned Academy Awards for best sound (now sound mixing) and/or best sound effects editing (now sound editing). With additional credits including Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo, he has spent his entire career at Skywalker Sound and was mentored by legendary Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt.

In this episode of Behind the Screen, Rydstrom took a break from mixing to talk about his work as supervising sound editor, designer and rerecording mixer on Gray’s sci-fi adventure Ad Astra, which stars Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, an astronaut on a space mission that will also involve a search for his lost father, played by Tommy Lee Jones.

Rydstrom relates that the work "combines realistic and kind of point-of-view subconscious, subliminal sounds. ... In the beginning, we are hearing bits of dialogue from the future in the movie, played as these weird, modern tape loops."

Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Behind the Screen features conversations with directors, cinematographers and other talent behind the making of motion pictures and episodic series.

Hear it all below on Behind the Screen — and be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an exciting episode.