The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Spotlight on Crafts: Music & Sound,” a spring and summer series illuminating the art of sound for motion pictures and the significant influence it has in film. The series will begin on May 20 at various venues in New York City and include onstage conversations and screenings of acclaimed films.
Patrick Harrison, head of AMPAS in NYC said, “They are the unsung heroes in film production. What some people call below the line, I like talking to costume designers and makeup artists as well. There’s something about the crafts people where they tell their own story, and everyone has to be dedicated to the story and I’m thrilled to hear what the sound people have to say about story.”
Harrison added, “No man is an island. I have a great team here in New York, we sit down and spitball it all and wonder what area of film we want to look at this year. The first year we looked at animation. Last year, we focused on screenwriting and it was interesting to hear about their processes. This year we want to look at sound and music and say, “How do you do this? How do you interpret the story and deliver on that?”
Talking about events which kick off tomorrow, Harrison said, “It’s very important to start in our past and find out what was done then, and with our Robin Hood event, Ben Burtt has been doing shows where he deconstructs these classic films. In looking at the past we can see how technology has influenced the work we do today. Craig Barron is going to talk about matte painting. We didn’t have green screen back then, so it’s going to be interesting to see how that evolved.”
“It’s always interesting for the audience to have a group of professionals on stage showing us a scene from a film like Silence of the Lambs. When you talk about sound and music creating emotion, that final scene with Clarice in the basement, visually it was terrifying, but the music and sound heightened how terrifying that scene became. To hear it as a completed scene and then to have Tom Fleischman take it all out with no sound and adding to it, it a wow factor.”
The goal of the annual events that spotlight the crafts of cinema is to educate cinemagoers about the aspects of filmmaking. Harrison said, “What we want to do is really drive home the fact that all of these filmmakers are also storytellers. They are working from a script and understanding what the story is doing, but also helping the director achieve their objective. They all have to work collaboratively to be on the same page and each department brings their own professionalism and talent achieving the creative vision.” He added. “In doing these programs, the ultimate outcome would be to have an educated filmgoing audience so that they stay in their seats during the end credits. I would love it if people were interested in everyone who made the film. The series was born out of that desire. The end goal for us is to get people to appreciate cinema and every craft of cinema.”
Screening information as follows:
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Saturday, May 20 – Film Forum, 209 W. Houston Street in New York City
Co-presented by Film Forum, featuring special guests Ben Burtt & Craig Barron
Join Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar®-winning sound designer Ben Burtt as they deconstruct the extraordinary artistry behind The Adventures of Robin Hood, with a special emphasis on matte painting and sound effects, including a recreation of the archery tests that went into finding that just right “zing” sound.
We’ll Fix It In The Mix: An Evening With Lee Dichter And Tom Fleischman
Tuesday, May 23 – MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street in New York City
Hosted by Supervising ADR Editor Deborah Wallach
Join re-recording mixers Lee Dichter and Oscar®-winner Tom Fleischman for a discussion about their combined 90 years in the sound business. The two will share stories from their most challenging films and talk about the process that gave these films their final sound design. The conversation will be moderated by film journalist Joe Neumaier and feature clips from their respective filmographies.
Made You Look: Four Decades of Hip-Hop’s Impact in Cinema
Tuesday, June 6, 13, 20 & 27 – SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street in New York City
Co-presented by Martha Diaz of the Hip-Hop Education Center
“Made You Look” traces the 35- year rise of hip-hop culture in film and hip hop’s media presence from its independent roots to the global force it is today. “Made You Look” is guest curated by hip-hop scholar and archivist Martha Diaz, who has selected one movie to represent each decade, showing the evolution of hip-hop’s image and narrative from that period. Diaz will contextualize each film with a 10-minute introduction and moderate a post-screening discussion with special guest speakers.
Films in the series include:
Tuesday, June 6 – 1980s – Wild Style directed by Charlie Ahearn. Post-screening Q&A with Ahearn.
Tuesday, June 13 – 1990s – Menace II Society directed by The Hughes Brothers.
Tuesday, June 20 – 2000s – 8 Mile directed by Curtis Hanson.
Tuesday, June 27 – 2010s – Nas: Time Is Illmatic directed by One9. Post-screening Q&A with One9 and writer Erik Parker.
Layers – How To Build A Soundtrack From The Ground Up
Thursday, June 15 – MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street in New York City
Come see (and hear!) how an accomplished team of veteran artists use multiple layers of sound to enhance the mood of a film, serve the director’s vision and seamlessly drive the story forward. Panelists will show rough scenes from films they have worked on and illustrate how the final sound design was conceived and created. Learn about the demands of the job with anecdotes from the panelists.
Special guests: Philip Stockton (supervising sound editor and dialogue editor), Eugene Gearty (supervising sound editor and effects designer), Paul Hsu (supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer), Suzana Peric (music editor), and Deborah Wallach (supervising ADR editor). Moderated by film journalist Joe Neumaier.