Click here and head on over to EditorsGuild.com for a new interview with sound master Ben Burtt where he talks about his work in the new Star Trek film, and of course touches on Star Wars. Excerpt below:
"EGM:You’ve been the picture editor on three Star Wars movies. How did that experience mesh with your ideas about sound design?
BB: Picture editing for me is a natural transition; I think that the best movies are made when you are using sound as one of the tools you are actively thinking about as you build your movie in the editing room. That’s where you are thinking about how sound can enhance the drama, help control the pacing, or tilt the emotional feel at any particular point in a film. When you come to picture editing through a background in sound, as I did, you’ve experienced the limitations––and often failures––of sound design, as a result of trying to retrofit sound to a fixed or locked picture. When you start picture editing yourself, you can put that experience behind you and make more effective picture editing decisions by including sound design from the start. EGM: Were you involved with George Lucas’ early work in nonlinear editing?
BB: When George formed Droidworks and Pixar in the early 1980s, they were these little research groups down the hall from my sound design room. We didn’t take them real seriously, because we were busy making “real” movies. They had a young animator named John Lasseter who came up from LA, and I ended up doing sound on his and Pixar’s first two-minute CG film, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. I guess I only do films for Pixar that have Wally in the title!
Droidworks was developing two tools, the EditDroid, [which ultimately evolved into Avid Media Composer] and SoundDroid. I was very interested in the EditDroid, which was a functional but flawed tool in its early stages. I loved picture editing and spent a lot of time cutting on the droid––home movies, short documentaries, and some IMAX and outside specialty projects. Because I wasn’t a career picture editor with strong habits built up, I was very open-minded and flexible about the process. I found it to be a great area of experimentation."