You may not normally think about sound design in movies, but it's a critical part of the filmmaking process. Sound is used to create moods, evoke emotions, and highlight the action happening onscreen—good sound design is the difference between passively watching a scene, and sitting on the edge of your seat with tears in your eyes. If you've seen The Hunger Games, it's probably no surprise to hear that the movie's soundtrack was enormously important to director Gary Ross.
By soundtrack, I'm not just talking about music—I'm talking about the soundscapes for the film, which include everything from delicate crunching footsteps to the explosive bombs Katniss dodges during the harrowing forest fire scene.
Happily for us fans, SoundWorks Collection has created a fascinating video that takes us behind the scenes of the film … and into the process of creating Katniss's world.
The featurette is a peek into some of the work that Hunger Games Supervising Sound Editor Lon Bender, Re-Recording Mixer Michael Keller, and Re-Recording Mixer Mike Prestwood Smith did for the film. As the video reveals, the main goal was to use audio to interpret Katniss's experiences and translate them to the audience, similarly to how the book communicates Katniss's feelings via first person narrative.
The crew says that the original book was an important influence on the sound design, and that they wanted to include as many audio aspects from the book as they could. I mean, that's just amazing to me—that there was an entire crew dedicated to thinking how to bring NOISES from the book into the film!
Check out the video:
(My favorite part is at around 2:10 when the lady is racing around in the grass staring at the movie on an iPad in order to re-create the outdoor footsteps. Stomp stomp stompstomp!)
Killer sound design clearly adds to the emotional experience of a film, and while I wasn't specifically aware of the audio in The Hunger Games, I was definitely aware of how caught up in the movie I was. Even though I'd read the book and generally knew what to expect, I spent the entire 2+ hours completely engaged—tense, thrilled, relieved, and more than once, ridiculously weepy. I enjoyed it on every level—thanks, in no small part, to the meticulous effort by the sound designers.
Did you have any idea this kind of work went into the sound for The Hunger Games?
Image via Vimeo