Culver City, CA (July 12, 2018)—The sound team at Sony Pictures Post Production Services brought Columbia Pictures’ reimagining of Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 crime drama Superfly to life with intricate soundscapes for Atlanta’s neighborhoods, as well as nightclubs, gun battles, car chases and more.
Helmed by Director X and written by Alex Tse, the new movie transports the story of Priest (Trevor Jackson), from Harlem to modern-day Atlanta. The sound team, led by supervising sound editor Steven Ticknor, supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Kevin O’Connell, re-recording mixer Greg Orloff and sound designer Tony Lamberti, was tasked with bringing the sonic elements of Priest’s world to life.
Re-recording mixing was accomplished in the 125-seat Anthony Quinn Theater on an Avid S6 console with O’Connell handling dialogue and music and Orloff tackling sound effects and Foley.
One element that received special attention from the sound team was the Lexus LC500 that Priest drives in the film. As the sports car was brand new, no pre-recorded sounds were available, so Ticknor and Lamberti dispatched a recording crew and professional driver to the California desert to capture every aspect of its unique engine sounds, tire squeals, body mechanics and electronics. “Our job is to be authentic, so we couldn’t use a different Lexus,” Ticknor explains. “It had to be that car!”
In one of the film’s action sequences, Priest and the Lexus LC500 are involved in a high-speed chase with a Lamborghini and a Cadillac Escalade. Sound artists added to the scene by preparing sounds for every screech, whine and gear shift made by the cars, as well as explosions and other events happening alongside them and movements made by the actors behind the wheels.
Its 1972 predecessor featured an iconic soundtrack from Curtis Mayfield; for the new film, Atlanta-based rapper Future, who shares producer credit, assembled a soundtrack that features Young Thug, Lil Wayne, Miguel, H.E.R. and 21 Savage.
“Director X and Joel Silver [who produced the movie alongside hip-hop star Future, who also curated and produced the film’s soundtrack] wanted the film to have a big sound, as big and theatrical as possible,” says Ticknor. “The film is filled with fights and car chases, and we invested a lot of detail and creativity into each one to bring out their energy and emotion. We had a great team, and everyone gave it their all to produce a great soundtrack.”
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