Thursday, February 28, 2008

Inside Skywalker Ranch

Great article @ Latimes. This is about Skywalker Sound:

The Technical Building is just plain fun. I enter the cramped studio where foley artists are creating noises for "Horton Hears a Who." (The foley name is a tradition throughout the industry in deference to sound pioneer Jack Foley.) The scene I'm watching has a character walking with a tray of water glasses and as he waddles on screen, the artists, with expressions of focused concentration, clink half-empty tumblers in a tinkling chorus. This crew has produced the sounds for every Pixar film--they stop to show me the strip of rubber that produces the sound for Elasti-Girl from "The Incredibles"--and their "office" is cluttered with a battered car door, toys, mismatched shoes, dishes, bottles, rusty pipes, dirt and shelves of boxes with disconcerting labels. ("Bones, fingernails, small shells" reads one.). The whole thing is so wonderfully analog. The artists tell me some of their trade secrets, how they make the creak of haunted doors and hiss of an imaginary serpent. I promise to keep their magic tricks secret, but I have to know about the old bagel sitting in a corner: What is it for? "That," one of the foley artists says, "is what I call my breakfast."