Oscar-winning sound wizards talk ‘Interstellar’

Gregg Landaker, who served as sound re-recording mixer on Christopher Nolan‘s “Interstellar,” says the writer/director was a key part of the creative process. As he expained during our recent webcam chat (watch below) “Chris came up with a really cool thing when we were on the stage working with him. He came in and he brought us a YouTube video of a Go-Pro camera on a parachuter base jumping. He goes, ‘Now hear the sound of this guy rattling down inside this thing, being hit and the sound of that go-pro? That’s what I kind of want to achieve when they’re falling in their spacesuits.’”

Hans Zimmer on his ‘human’ score for epic ‘Interstellar

This three-time Oscar champ (“The Empire Strike Back,” 1980; “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” 1981; and “Speed,” 1994) along with his partner, Gary Rizzo, worked to achieve a feeling of realism in their sound mix which began with Mark Weingarten’s recording of the production sound, and continued with Richard King’s sizable task of editing it. Both of them also joined our candid conversation. 

“Chris has very specific ideas about how he’d like the production sound recorded,” says Weingarten, a two-time Oscar nominee ( (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” 2008; “The Social Network, ”2010). “He wants it all to be coming off a boom mic, which principally all the dialogue was.”

Nolan is well-known for not using ADR – or looping – which can sometimes prove problematic. However, according to King — who won two of his three Oscars for Nolan films (The Dark Knight,” 2008; and “Inception,” 2010) — “my dialogue editors did a huge amount of work maximizing the use of production dialogue.” His other win was for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” in 2003. 

Production designer Nathan Crowley creates new worlds – and spaceships – for ‘Interstellar’

Our experts are predicting “Interstellar” will win both sound awards this year. After watching our full interview below, in which King reveals that even the robot TARS – as voiced by Bill Irwin – was production sound, be sure to make your predictions for Best Sound Mixing using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

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