Editor’s note: This post is presented in partnership with Dolby Laboratories and AMC Theatres in conjunction with Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure film, “In the Heart of the Sea,” now playing at Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime December 11, 2015.
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Ron Howard’s latest adventure drama “In the Heart of the Sea” boasts state of the art special effects that bring to life the doomed voyage of the Essex whaling ship, but the film’s most immersive quality is unquestionably its sound design. Bringing the menacing tones of the ocean and the harbor to life, the film transports the viewer into the world of a seafarer in all its expansive and horrifying glory.
Following a special screening of the film in New York City at AMC Empire’s Dolby Theater, sound re-recording mixers Chris Burdon and Gilbert Lake joined Indiewire’s Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn to share what it was like bringing this massive whaling epic to life on the big screen. Since water is something everyone knows the sounds off, the duo faced a particular challenge on this project in getting the sounds as accurate as possible.
“From an effects point of view, water is hugely challenging because it’s natural, we all know what water sounds like, and a lot of what water sounds like is noise, it’s like broadband frequencies, and it’s hard to find edges and transient, specific sounds within it,” said Lake. “If you go for too much of that stuff you end up with just noise, so it’s really crafting when you want to hear certain parts of water and using the geography of the room to separate different elements and feel you’re able to create something that has shape rather than just an assault. I hope that comes through when you watch it.”
From tricks of the trade to shifting industry standards, check out more of the highlights from their sound discussion below.
Ideal Theatrical Viewing Experience
Evolving Tools and Work Environments
READ MORE: Ron Howard Discusses Tackling a ‘New Animal’ With ‘In the Heart of the Sea’