The first time I ever discovered a behind-the-scenes documentary about a film that I enjoyed it was on PBS and about Raiders of the Lost Ark. I couldn’t believe that I was getting to see all the great ways that the film makers had put this epic adventure together. Also, I was shocked that PBS had more to offer than Sesame Street and Lawrence Welk. Mind you, this was what we had to do to access those sweet extras back in the olden days. Video tapes hadn’t been invented, let alone “extras”. Anyway, you can mark my deep love for film-making from that day forward.
Lucky for us, now we don’t even have to wait for the actual DVD/Blu-Ray/4K to be released to see the sweetness, because the internet is vying for your attention. This time around, ABC News has put together a very watchable 27 min documentary The Force Of Sound about the audio in The Last Jedi.
The segment feels very pure—a camera and a mic. All of the chief contributors to the film at Skywalker Ranch guide you through the magnificent effort of creating the audioscape of the 8th Star Wars film. From editing to foley (creating a sound with everyday items where no sounds exists) to capture/recording, the viewer is given special access to the creativity that makes a Star Wars film unique.
Director Rian Johnson figures prominently, as does sound supervisor Matt Wood and others. Many of the important sound decisions are discussed and explained. That’s right I said important sound decisions. Like, how annoying the Porgs should be, and why silence was more appropriate in a certain special scene.
I’m being vague, just in case you haven’t seen the actual TLJ film yet, because there are spoilers all over the place in the doc. But if you are reading a Laughing Place blog review about a Star Wars sound documentary, we’re probably good, yes?
My personal “wow” moment from the doc had nothing to do with the sound, but rather Wood’s description of how he landed his first job at the Ranch. Simply astonishing.
Give yourself a pre-DVD/Blu-Ray/4K release present and check out the full doc. And as added whipped cream on top, pop in a good pair of headphones. The audio on this piece is something to hear. I wasn’t previously aware of these ABC News Docs, and so I’m excited to dig around and see what else they’ve got. I guess ABC, like PBS of old, has more to offer than just America’s Funniest Home Videos and Modern Family.
Author, podcaster, costumer and maker, Ryan has been enjoying Disney, Marvel and Star Wars since his first years of life and is thrilled to be able to pass that passion along to a new audience on LaughingPlace. Check out his award winning novels “The Pirate Bride” & “The Lost Crew” in bookstore nationwide.