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Rain is sizzling bacon, cars are lions roaring: the art of sound in movies

Stashed in: Are You Not Entertained?, Film, Favorites, Sounds!

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Ever since we were lucky enough to visit Skywalker Ranch and see a short film about sound in its famous acoustically-perfect theater, I have loved trying to find the best movies worth listening to.

Thank you for the helpful reminder that we hear what we want to hear.

It is a central principle of sound editing that people hear what they are conditioned to hear, not what they are actually hearing. The sound of rain in movies? Frying bacon. Car engines revving in a chase scene? It’s partly engines, but what gives it that visceral, gut-level grist is lion roars mixed in. To be excellent, a sound editor needs not just a sharp, trained ear, but also a gift for imagining what a sound could do, what someone else might hear.

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