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Star Wars fans’ ears are in for a treat.
In the upcoming documentary The Force of Sound, ABC News pays a visit to the nerd Mecca, Skywalker Ranch, to talk to some of those who worked on The Last Jedi’s amazing sci-fi noises.
“It’s been kind of a passion project for me,” ABC News’ Clayton Sandell says. “I love Star Wars, but I really love the behind-the-scenes aspect and talking to the creative people that make it all happen.”
Sandell and crew pull the curtain back on the sound design of Last Jedi by going inside Skywalker Sound to meet the team behind it in the 30-minute doc.
The crew interviewed writer-director Rian Johnson, along with supervising sound editor Matt Wood and sound designer Ren Klyce, who are Oscar-nominated for their work on the film. They work with the Foley team, which adds sounds to movies in post-production and can be key to making a world populated with aliens, robots and spaceships feel real.
“The Foley team shows us how they created the distinctive sounds for BB-8 [and] crystal foxes,” Sandell says, noting they used real animals for part of their work. “We go to record the Skywalker Ranch chickens, and watch how Ren shapes and processes those recordings into porgs (with the help of an intern and a turkey call).”
Even silence can pose a challenge.
“Ren and Matt break down the various sound layers of a Canto Bight scene. And we show off the unique use of silence in certain scenes, like the Force connection moments and Holdo’s sacrifice,” says Sandell.
The doc also discusses the 40-plus-year legacy of Skywalker Sound, which doesn’t always get the attention that famed Star Wars visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic receives.
“It’s pretty geeky fun, and I think pretty different,” Sandell says, before quipping, “I think you really get a feel for being at Skywalker Ranch and hearing from the folks who usually take a back seat to the glory-hogging visual effects punks at ILM. I’ve wanted to tell their story for about a year.”
The Force of Sound will be available to watch online Tuesday morning on abcnews.com.
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