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Movies’ voice performances used to be something of an afterthought, at least for audiences. Most people have seen “The Little Mermaid,” but few could tell you the name of the actress who breathed life into Ariel. (Her name is Jodie Benson.)
That’s changed. Dreamworks and the growing legion of Disney imitators realized there was real commercial value in casting celebrities for animated movies. (See: Martin Scorsese as a fish with huge eyebrows in “Shark Tale.”) And, as technology developed a life of its own, the sound of a recognizable human voice has grown especially comforting.
These days, we don’t need to call anyone to have a conversation with our phones. And yet, even in an age when computers can generate photorealistic people, the fully human voice is still inimitable. It’s safe to say that Siri has never made anybody cry (unless it was frustration), but Scarlett Johansson »
- David Ehrlich, Kate Halliwell, Steve Greene, Russell Goldman, Ben Travers, Zack Sharf, Chris O'Falt and Kyle Kizu
We’ll kick things off this week with an update on those Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reshoots. If you’re behind on the story, you can read the report collection from two weeks ago, but one of the film’s stars Mads Mikkelsen has further clarified that there is nothing to worry about. “Basically, all the big films I have done always have reshoots, it is part of their budget,” he said. “They’re either not super happy with a scene bit, the way we were acting, or maybe there’s something they want to add. It’s not a new thing, it happens with every film. Whether it’s bigger or less, I have no idea, »
- Luke Owen
Taking a break from all the rumour and speculation surrounding the reshoots on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, IGN caught up with Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood, who spoke about his work on December’s first Anthology movie and how he plans to blend new elements with the familiar sounds from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Star Wars just has such a great legacy of sound that we’ve kept really special over the years,” states Wood. “Ben Burtt, who’s the original sound designer from the first Star Wars in ’77, was my mentor, and we’ve worked together on many, many projects. He’s still active at Skywalker Sound, almost 40 years after the first Star Wars. We’ve kept those sounds very special, so they’re only used in Star Wars films. I mean, Skywalker Sound, we do a ton of other movies, but we keep those sounds special, because we want that. You hear a Tie fighter, you’re gonna know that’s a Tie fighter. It’s not going to be like, ‘Oh, I heard that in Transformers. I heard that in Pirates of the Caribbean.’ This is the Tie fighter, and it hasn’t been spread out amongst all the different movies.”
“Sound has that way to subliminally take you, to connect you to things, and it’s a very easy way to do it,” he continues. “It’s not onscreen. We don’t have to render it. We pay special homage to the lightsabers and the wookiees and the wampas and the Tie fighters and the X-Wings. All of that has a connection back. So those sounds we don’t really want to alter much. [We] take things that are in that same patina [of the old sounds] and create new ships and, you know… David Acord, who was my co-supervisor on The Force Awakens — and we both did The Clone Wars together as well — we’ve just tried to take a blend of what we made in Clone Wars and what we’ve done in the Prequels and now The Force Awakens and just tried to put it in that same zone so it seems like it’s in that same universe.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16th 2016, with a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Alan Tudyk (Con Man), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and Genevieve O’Reilly (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith).
- Gary Collinson
I absolutely Adore body snatcher films. I don’t know what it is about them, but they just do it for me. My favorite film having to do with body snatchers is the aptly titled, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, the 1978 remake of the classic 1956 film of the same name. The remake took concerns and metaphors subtly present in the original film and amplified them, raising the stakes, the social statements and boasted excellent performances from Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum. It’s just a perfect film, and one that I try to show every friend or house guest who hasn’t seen it. Thanks to the ever-reliable group over at Scream Factory, we’re getting a special Collector’s Edition Bluray release of Philip Kaufman’s 1978 masterpiece, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, complete with enough special features to make the most avid collector blush with excitement.
· New 2K scan of the interpositive
· New Audio Commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman
· Audio Commentary by director Philip Kaufman
· Re-Visitors From Outer Space, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pod – including interviews with director Philip Kaufman, screenwriter W.D. Richter, director of photography Michael Chapman and actors Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwright (15 minutes)
· Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod (4 minutes)
· The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod (5 minutes)
· Theatrical Trailer
· TV Spots
· Radio Spots
· Photo Gallery
- Jerry Smith
Featuring a phenomenal cast including Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum, 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers is coming out on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray this August from Scream Factory, who have now revealed the new special features for the anticipated release:
Press Release: The seed is planted…terror grows. On August 2, 2016, the terrifying sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers will be presented like never before in a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory. Featuring a new HD transfer, this release also comes packed with new bonus features, including interviews and audio commentary with cast and crew, and a limited-edition collectible slipcover with newly rendered artwork.
Under cover of darkness, while an unsuspecting city sleeps, an alien life form begins to sow the seeds of unspeakable terror. Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum star in this shocking, “first-rate suspense thriller” (Newsday).
One by one, the residents of San Francisco are becoming drone-like shadows of their former selves. As the phenomenon spreads, two Department of Health workers, Matthew (Sutherland) and Elizabeth (Adams), uncover the horrifying truth: Mysterious pods are cloning humans — and destroying the originals! The unworldly invasion grows stronger with each passing minute, hurling Matthew and Elizabeth into a desperate race to save not only their own lives, but the future of the entire human race.
New 2K scan of the interpositive New Star-Crossed in The Invasion – an interview with actress Brooke Adams (9 minutes) New Leading the Invasion – an interview with actor Art Hindle (25 minutes) New Re-Creating The Invasion – an interview with writer W.D. Richter (16 minutes) New Scoring the Invasion an interview with composer Denny Zeitlin (15 minutes) New Audio Commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman Audio Commentary by director Philip Kaufman Re-Visitors From Outer Space, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Pod – including interviews with director Philip Kaufman, screenwriter W.D. Richter, director of photography Michael Chapman and actors Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwright (15 minutes) Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod (4 minutes) The Man Behind The Scream: The Sound Effects Pod – an interview with Ben Burtt and sound editor Bonnie Koehler (12 minutes) The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod (5 minutes) Theatrical Trailer TV Spots Radio Spots Photo Gallery An episode of Science Fiction Theatre, Time is Just A Place, based on Jack Finney’s short story. Directed by Jack Arnold.
Shout! Factory will continue to present the on-going Scream Factory™ home entertainment series in 2016 with specific release dates, extras and key art. Fans are encouraged to visit Shout! Factory’s website (www.ShoutFactory.com), follow the brand on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD) and Twitter (@Scream_Factory), and view exclusive video content on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ScreamFactoryTV/Home).
About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Factory Productions, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com
- Derek Anderson
With the first official 4K Blu-ray titles now available to purchase in the Us (the first UK titles are due on April 18th), Paramount Pictures have announced their first two 4K releases will be J.J. Abrams’ two Star Trek films.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness will be released on June 14th. Digitally remastered, the releases will be equipped with new 4K Uhd transfers for exceptionally brilliant picture quality and feature Dolby Atmos soundtracks* remixed specifically for the home theater environment.
The Uhd Disc is presented in 4K high definition with English Dolby Atmos, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, »
- Scott J. Davis
Hollywood, Calif. – Paramount Home Media Distribution announced today that director J.J. Abrams’ global blockbusters Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness will be the studio’s first two titles released on the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. The releases coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise in 2016. 4K Uhd represents the next evolution in home entertainment, offering four times the resolution and more than double the number of colors available with full HD. In addition, these spectacular 4K Uhd releases deliver exceptional vibrancy and contrast through High Dynamic Range technology, which reveals hidden details and shades of color that more closely mimic real life. Both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness have been digitally remastered with new 4K Uhd transfers for exceptionally brilliant picture quality and feature Dolby Atmos® soundtracks* remixed specifically for the home theater environment. Dolby Atmos delivers captivating sound that places »
- ComicMix Staff
As the new media format comes into its own, movie studios are starting to adopt the 4K Ultra HD Blu-Rays. As others have announced their initial titles, Paramount has revealed their first films coming to the new format will be the Star Trek reboot and it's sequel, Into Darkness.
If you're looking to expand your Ultra HD Blu-Ray collection (granted there aren't many ways to do so at the moment), and looking to celebrate Star Trek this year, you're in luck. Jj Abrams' Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness are Paramount's first films coming to the new format coming June 14th. Of course, they'll be coming with a slew of special features as well, which you can get all the details on below:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Erik Bauersfeld may not have been a household name, but he made a major contribution to the Star Wars universe. In 1983's Return Of The Jedi, he provided the voices of Bib Fortuna and Admiral Ackbar, the latter being the amphibious Rebel commander famous for his oft-quoted line, "It's a trap!" Bauersfeld reprised the latter role in last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Ackbar helped organise a Resistance assault on the Starkiller Base.
We're now sorry to report that Bauersfeld passed away peacefully at his Berkeley, California home at the age of 93.
Erik Bauersfeld, the actor who provided the voice to the beloved Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar in a pair of films, died Sunday at his Berkeley, California home. He was 93. Bauersfeld's manager confirmed the actor's death to The Hollywood Reporter.
Although best remembered for voicing Ackbar – his exclamation "It's a trap!" in Return of the Jedi has been reborn as a popular meme – Bauersfeld also voiced the character of Bib Fortuna in Jedi. Bauersfeld later lent his vocal talents to Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence as well as Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak. »
The Star Wars franchise lost a beloved figure over the weekend, with actor Erik Bauersfeld, who voiced Admiral Ackbar, passing away at the age of 93. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed through Derek Maki, Erik Bauersfeld's manager, that the actor died Sunday morning at his home in Berkeley, California. While he was also an accomplished radio dramatist, he will be most remembered for voicing the Mon Calimari Rebel commander Admiral Ackbar, and his iconic line "It's a trap!"
Tim Rose Physically played Admiral Ackbar in both Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and the current blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has taken in over $2 billion at the box office. But the character's voice was provided by Erik Bauersfeld in both movies. He also voiced Bib Fortuna, one of Jabba the Hut's employees in Return of the Jedi, while voicing Admiral Ackbar in the 1993 flight simulator video game Star Wars: X-Wing. »
The man who spoke the iconic line — “It’s a trap!” — as Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi has died. Voice actor and radio drama producer Erik Bauersfeld died at his home on Sunday morning. In addition to voicing the Rebel Alliance commander, Bauersfeld also lent his voice to Bib Fortuna, one of Jabba the Hutt’s henchmen. Bauersfeld reprised his role as Ackbar for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A statement from Coolwaters Productions confirmed the news of his passing: “Actor Erik Bauersfeld, known by Star Wars fans around globe as the voice of Admiral Ackbar, has passed away,” the statement said. “His passing comes at the age of 93 and the cause was natural causes. Erik will be deeply missed by his family here at Coolwaters and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” Bauersfeld got the part of Ackbar when Star Wars sound designer »
- Emily Rome
The sound design crafted by Ben Burtt and his team for the Star Wars saga is just as iconic and evocative as John Williams' soaring fanfare. Burtt's work — spanning from 1977's A New Hope on through 2015's multi-billion dollar smash The Force Awakens — is as instantly recognizable as the "Star Wars Theme": the live wire hum and crackle of light sabers, the foreboding exhales of Darth Vader, the boisterous din of the Mos Eisley Cantina, the emotive growl of Chewbacca, the chirrups of droids like R2D2 and »
The world of Star Wars extends far beyond amazing visuals. Sound plays just as much of a role in the development of a cinematic fantasy world. From the sounds of blasters, to the guttural chant of a Wookie, each tone and effect creates a new, intriguing element of the entire Star Wars universe that has become endlessly iconic in the forty years since A New Hope hit theaters. None of these sounds occur naturally; they require the talent of people like Ben Burtt to make them happen. A new report from Popular Mechanics documents how six of the most iconic sounds from the Star Wars universe came into being. The first sound addressed by the article is one of the best documented: the blaster. Ben Burtt describes being on vacation and hearing the sounds of rocks hitting the support cables of a nearby radio tower. The noise rang out in »
Gary Rydstrom is Oscar nominated for sound mixing on thriller “Bridge of Spies.” Among the films for which he received his 17 previous noms (and seven wins) were mega-hits like “Jurassic Park,” “Titanic” and “Saving Private Ryan.” The first time his name popped up in Variety was for work in a comedy — in our review of 1987’s “Spaceballs.”
Do you remember that review?
Oh, God yeah! To get credit on a film, and then mentioned in the press — I thought, “I guess I’m actually working in the industry!” That took a while to sink in. I have always felt close to every movie that I worked on, so I get nervous reading reviews.
How did you get started?
I went to USC film school, and a teacher, Ken Miura, was a favorite of George Lucas. So I was recommended, and started working at Lucasfilm around the time of the “(Return of the) Jedi” release. »
- Tim Gray
Have you ever wanted a compilation of original music that blends your childhood affinity for all things Star Wars with your likely more recent appreciation for electronic music? Rick Rubin thought you might, which is why the decade-spanning pop culture mastermind has enlisted some of the world’s most renowned producers to deliver tracks for Star Wars Headspace.
Kaskade, Flying Lotus, A-Trak and Baauer are but a few of the names behind tracks which will appear on the album. Each production features samples and clips from the iconic sound effects of sound designer Ben Burtt, making for songs which reference the Star Wars film franchise’s many peculiar tropes.
Perhaps most surprising from a musical standpoint is Rubin’s own contribution to the compilation. Where the producer is best known for his iconic mixes of albums for legendary acts like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beastie Boys, “Nr-G »
- John Cameron
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been in theaters for 50 days. And new Easter eggs are still being discovered. Today's big reveal is actually pretty cool. Especially since it's tied into Indiana Jones. And it comes at a crucial point in the movie involving Han Solo and Chewbacca. It literally ties Harrison Ford's two iconic characters together in one fail swoop. You just need to know what to 'listen' for.
Director J.J. Abrams has decided to cram so many hidden nods and references in The Force Awakens, that it has become a virtual game for some. And it's a game that requires multiple viewings. Some of the Easter Eggs are so well hidden, though, that they are likely to fly right over your head. Luckily, those involved with the behind-the-scenes work on the film have been eager to share some of their more obscure references. And the Raiders of the Lost Ark »
Remember when that Nazi’s face melted off at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? It turns out that The Force Awakens uses that exact same sound in its infamous Nazi face-melting scene! Oh, that wasn’t The Force Awakens? Then what the hell was I watching? According to their interview with The Nerdist, Tfw supervising sound editor Matthew Wood and sound designer David Acord did sneak a little Indy into one of Han Solo’s scenes. If the tentacled rathtar chasing our heroes through the Millennium Falcon sounded like it was rolling, your ears must be like dog's ears or something. “I put in the sound of Ben Burtt’s boulder-roll sound from Raiders of the Lost Ark when the boulder is chasing Indy,” reveals Acord. You can listen to the entire interview here. Meanwhile, I have to go back to that Blockbuster »
- Halle Kiefer
Easter eggs in movies are nothing new. Filmmakers like to put references to other films in their new movies all the time. Sometimes these references are direct, and other times they.re much more subtle. It turns out that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark in it. Although, you probably didn.t notice underneath the sound of the screaming rathtar. David Acord, sound designer on The Force Awakens, told Nerdist that during the scene where Han Solo and Chewbacca are running down the hall to escape from the rolling rathtar, he added a sound effect from another Harrison Ford movie that harkened back to that moment. Then there.s some other cool things like when the rathtar is rolling down the hallway after Han and Chewie, I put in the sound of Ben Burtt.s boulder roll sound from Raiders of the »
In the Special Editions, the Rebo Band were big victims of George Lucas' digital wand. Here's how CGI changed them - seemingly forever...
In 1997, Star Wars began its ineluctable turn to the digital side. A New Hope, re-released in January that year, marked the first of George Lucas’s Special Edition revamps of his blockbuster saga; then 20 years old, the original 70s print was decaying. Effects shots were damaged. Darth Vader’s once imposing black mask and cloak had faded to a wan shade of pale blue.
To combat the ravages of time, Lucas embarked on an expensive and lavish restoration of the movies, improving the quality of the sound, re-balancing and correcting the colours and placing them back where they belonged: on the big screen. While fans were delighted at the prospect of seeing Star Wars in theatres again, Lucas’ reissues didn’t stop at »
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