Brad North (‘Love Death + Robots’ sound editor) talks creating sounds for big creatures and heady moods [Exclusive Video Interview]

Each episode of “Love, Death + Robots” presents its own set of unique challenges for sound supervisor Brad North and his Emmy nominated episode, “In Vaulted Halls Entombed,” is no exception. It was the middle part that brought some of the bigger challenges for him. “You have the bigger creatures, so we had to come up with a little bit more, plus we were doing a lot of guns too. We had to find our spots of playing the size of the bigger guys but also hearing the textures of them and also hearing the guns,” he tells Gold Derby during our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video interview above). It’s not just about creating the effects but also creating the different moods for each part of the episode. “There was a lot going on, sound effects-wise, in this whole episode and the atmospheres have to change too. We start in the caves and then we get into this big thing, then we get into the prison. They all had to sound separate as well.”

“Love, Death + Robots,” which streams on Netflix, is an animated anthology series with each episode being its own stand alone story. Each episode also has its own cast and crew and will usually revolve around one of the titular elements, though it’s not necessarily required. North’s nominated episode centers on a rescue squad that’s being sent to save a hostage from insurgents but then encounter strange spider-like bugs that swarm and kill several team members. The remaining members press further into the cave where they encounter a large creature that telepathically begs to be released. North has won five Emmys throughout his career thus far including a win for this show at last year’s ceremony. He’s also won Emmys for his sound work on “House” (2011), “Stranger Things” (2017-18) and “Watchmen” (2020).

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North does enjoy coming up with sounds for creatures and monsters but also has a soft spot for creating sounds meant to be more ethereal and understated. “I think that some of the more subtle, heady stuff is fun too because it may not be as easy to come up with. It’s a little more abstract. It kind of depends on the material because if it looks and it has a cool vibe, then you just try to find the vibe.” This extends to one of the main reasons he loves getting to work on “Love, Death + Robots.” “Each one of them have their own vibe. Sometimes you have to come up with futuristic vehicles and guns and sometimes you have to do ancient giant creatures.”

Even after winning five Emmys, North doesn’t view the ritual as anything repetitive. “It changes. Every day is different. They all come with their own challenges and their own rewards. I know that I’m lucky and I appreciate the opportunities that producers like Tim Miller allow me to work on their shows.” He’s also proud that he’s been able to work on projects that he cares about. “You bring a little bit more. There’s that little bit of extra juice that you can bring when you really care about the show and all the shows you just named have a special place in my heart.”

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