Julian Slater interview: ‘Last Night in Soho’ sound

Prolific sound editor Julian Slater has worked with Edgar Wright on every one of the director’s features since “Shaun of the Dead,” including the blockbuster hit “Baby Driver,” which netted Slater two Oscar nominations in the sound categories. For their encore to that film, Wright and Slater collaborated again on “Last Night in Soho,” a thriller about a young woman (Thomasin McKenzie) who finds herself stuck between two different eras of the famous London neighborhood.

“I love working with him because he’s the best of everything,” Slater tells Gold Derby in our “Meet the Experts” sound panel. “He constructs an amazing environment for someone like myself to play in. He has these initial ideas, but then he throws the ball over to over to me and my sound team. And based on nearly 20 years of working with him, there is no fear of failure.”

“Last Night in Soho” is a twisty thriller that sends its heroine on a head trip back through time into the 1960s, where she encounters a wannabe singer (Anya Taylor-Joy) and numerous nefarious men. Wright’s film, which he co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (an Oscar nominee for “1917”), pays homage to Giallo films in its style and substance – and Slater says its slow build in tension was mirrored in the sound design.

“The movie for us was very much an exercise in restraint as much as anything else. The movie starts on a No. 1 and ends up on a No. 1,” he says. “We try and do the slow build to what we get to number 10 … Edgar, who’s not necessarily the most restrained when it comes to sound because he loves playing in the sonic playground, he would be the one who would say to us, ‘Look at this moment in time, let’s keep our powder dry. So I think doing those things and holding back, and having restraints gives you the dynamic power to kind of come in stronger and harder later in the movie.”

Slater and the “Last Night in Soho” sound team are on the Academy Awards shortlist in the Best Sound category at the 2022 Oscars. The film is available to watch on numerous digital platforms now.

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UPLOADED Jan 20, 2022 10:20 am