This story first appeared in the March 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
“Sound is one of the best tools a filmmaker has at his disposal,” says director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, the Spider-Man films), who will be honored Feb. 27 with the Filmmaker Award at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards (Richard King will receive the Career Achievement Award). “For Oz the Great and Powerful, we wanted to re-create the feeling [of the original 1939 film, when it went from black and white to Technicolor.]” He used a switch to color, a wider aspect ratio, 3D and more immersive sound. The beginning is recorded in mono and “as we journey to Oz, we opened it up, and sound takes on a fuller dimension; the audience was drawn into a new world.”
For Evil Dead, “we didn’t have the money to create the monster, which was the luckiest thing that ever happened,” he says. “We took out the natural sounds and created a track that was part voice, part music, part sound effect — the voice of the evil. We didn’t show what it was; we used these sound tools to plant the seeds in the minds of the audience of what this horror could be.”