Down in the Sand

Alan Splet, who worked with David Lynch, remains my sound design hero. And we all acknowledge Ben Burtt. But these Doooooon guys (Mark Mangini and Theo Green) put on a show. I realized from the first minute watching it that the sound was going to be fantastic, and a new article provides some insight:

By way of explaining it to me, Mangini ground his work boot into the soft patch of sand that he had dusted with Rice Krispies. The sand produced a subtle, beguiling crunch, and Villeneuve broke out into a big smile. Though he’d heard it plenty of times in postproduction, he had no idea what the sound designers had concocted to capture that sound.

“I wanted Theo and Mark to have the proper time to investigate and explore and make mistakes,” Villeneuve said. “It’s something I got really traumatized by with my early movies, where you spend years working on a screenplay, then months shooting and editing it, and then right at the end, the sound guy comes and you barely have enough time.”

By hiring his sound designers early and setting them loose, Villeneuve could even take some of their discoveries and weave them into Hans Zimmer’s score, producing a holistic aural experience where the percussive music composition and pervasive sound design can sometimes be mistaken for one another.

And much like a band, the sounds of “Dune” benefited from some intriguing vocalists. To create the Voice, a persuasive way of speaking that allows Paul and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) to draw on the power of their female ancestors — a witchy order called the Bene Gesserit — Villeneuve and his sound team cast three older women with smoky, commanding voices, then layered their line readings over those of Chalamet and Ferguson.

– Kyle Buchanan, NYT

One of the older women with a smoky voice? Marianne Faithfull.

One Reply to “Down in the Sand”

  1. Just took a glance at Faithfull’s Wikipedia page. She’s had quite a career!

    Also, I can’t wait for Dune: Part Two, whenever that happens. Having seen Dune, Blade Runner 2049 and Sicario, I’ve become a big Villeneuve fan boi. His attention to detail is staggering.

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