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The sequel to the 2018 Paramount thriller — which opened in theaters last weekend with $57 million, the highest debut for a movie since the start of the pandemic — follows a family trying to survive in a world inhabited by deadly predators that are blind but can hear the slightest sound.
With creatures that hunt by what they hear, the sound is a central part of the story, and this work was led by Aadahl and van de Ryn, who were Oscar-nominated in sound editing for the work on the original A Quiet Place. “One of our mantras on A Quiet Place Part II was ‘the smallest sounds are big sounds,” says Aadahl in the episode. “Whether it’s a closeup of a foot gently compressing sand and then the next a foot stepping on a leaf that’s uncomfortably crunching, those tiny sounds are huge sounds. They are so critical.”
Of creating the sounds of the creatures, van de Ryn explains that the sound team gave them “sonic modes”–a search mode (“a stun gun against grapes, pitched down, became the clicks for the searching mode”), as well as a navigation mode and an attack mode.
In the movie, deaf actress Millicent Simmonds plays the character Regan, who is deaf. Aadahl relates that the film’s sound from her point of view, including with her cochlear implants, is “almost an internal sound—the sound of your body and rumble of the heart and blood.” He says that feedback from Simmonds helped to shape this sound, as well as additional research when he and van de Ryn visited an anechoic chamber, which is a space isolated from outside sound.
Van de Ryn is a two-time Academy Award winner, for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and King Kong. He has teamed with Aadahl on titles including Transformers: Dark of the Moon and best picture winner Argo, for which they received additional Oscar nominations.
Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, “Behind the Screen” features interviews with cinematographers, editors, sound professionals and other artists behind the making of motion pictures and series. Below, you can listen to the new episode and subscribe.
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