Julian Slater Interview: ‘Baby Driver’ sound designer
During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), “Baby Driver” sound designer Julian Slater reveals that when he first read Edgar Wright‘s script, “it was this iPad app that played the music in sync with the page turns. He obviously wrote it with sound in mind. It’s in the DNA of the movie.” The film stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a young getaway driver with a love for music who gets pulled into a failed heist. Slater served not only as the sound designer, but as the supervising sound editor and a re-recording mixer as well.
“It’s very, very rare that the director writes the movie with sound in mind,” he adds, “and that the central character is listening to music the whole time.” For his work, the 25-year sound veteran and his team “had to change the way we worked” in order to synchronize “whatever Baby is listening to at that time” with “the diegetic and the real world sounds” around him. “We had to tempo out each piece of music” so that, for instance, the police sirens chasing Baby or the gunshots in a shootout “are all in tempo with the music.”
Slater competed at the Emmys for his work on “Animal Farm” in 2000 and “Tsunami: The Aftermath” in 2007. He contended at the BAFTAs for “Hilary and Jackie” (1998) and won the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel award for “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015). He previously collaborated with Wright on “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), “Hot Fuzz” (2007), “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010), and “The World’s End” (2013).