MPSE Explores Sound of Star Trek at Seminar Screening - ProSoundNetwork.com

MPSE Explores Sound of Star Trek at Seminar Screening

By Mel Lambert. A recent Motion Picture Sound Editors' seminar entitled Star Trek--The Sound Show enabled a packed audience in Los Angeles to hear how the complex soundtrack evolved in the hands of its talented sound crew.
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MPSE Sergeant-at-Arms Glenn Morgan; MPSE coordinator Scott
Haller; supervising sound editors Alan Rankin and Mark P.
Stoeckinger; picture editors MaryannBrandon and Mary Jo Markey;
director J. J.Abrams; music editors Stephen M. Davis and Alex Levy;
re-recording mixers Anna Behlmer and Andy Nelson; and MPSE
president Bobbi Banks.
By Mel Lambert | content-creators.com

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A recent Motion Picture Sound Editors' seminar entitled Star Trek--The Sound Show enabled a packed audience in Los Angeles to hear how the complex soundtrack evolved in the hands of its talented sound crew.

Helmed by supervising sound editors Alan Rankin and Mark P. Stoeckinger, the seminar focused on the film's meticulous sonic detailing--some of which was supplied by sound-design legend Ben Burtt--while paying attention to composer Michael Giacchino's dynamic score and the all-important dialog elements.

The film's ebullient director J. J. Abrams was on hand to demonstrate some of the unique sounds he helped to develop while crafting the soundtrack; his impromptu vocal improvisations on the dubbing stage--reconstructed during the seminar-helped ensure that sound designers, picture editors and mixing team pushed the envelope in a number of ingenious ways.

Held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, the two-hour seminar also featured recollections from picture editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, music editors Stephen M. Davis and Alex Levy, as well as re-recording mixers Anna Behlmer and Andy Nelson, using original multitrack Pro Tools sessions from the soundtrack.

"This was an extremely complex mix," Nelson recalled. "I started by putting up the dialog elements and making sure everything was working against picture; I then added the music, blending it around the dialog and ADR." Working with this initial dialog and music mix-in-progress, Behlmer "spent several hours layering in the effects, including backgrounds, hard effects and Foley, footsteps and props."

"We like to work with a lot of material," Nelson agrees, "because it gives us important options; for Star Trek Alan [Rankin] and Mark [Stoeckinger] really pulled out all the stops."

As director Abrams recalled: "For the important sequence [during destruction of The Narada, a Romulan mining vessel], we decided to drop the sound effects, and let the score support the emotional story. And for the Mind Meld sequence [between Spock and an unconscious Romulan], we brought the voices out into the surrounds" to provide a more ethereal soundscape. "I wanted it to sound like an LSD Trip!"

Star Trek will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 17.