Meet the Experts sound panel: ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’
“All Quiet on the Western Front” supervising sound editor Frank Kruse and “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” re-recording mixer Jon Taylor found themselves in a position so many industry artisans face in this modern era: working on a theatrical film for a streaming platform, in this case, Netflix. But both say that the work they do in creating sonic landscapes for the screen doesn’t really change regardless of where the audience eventually finds the film.
“You always are thinking about the end user. So if you’re mixing theatrically and then you do a separate mix for home, how’s that going to translate?” Taylor says in an exclusive video interview on the Gold Derby: Meet the Experts sound panel. “We always mix in Atmos, regardless of what they want…. But [the home viewer] will be in the back of our heads. If we make this too different, you know, it’s not going to work [when it translates to home viewing]… It’s something we constantly think of. But that’s not new. I’ve been mixing for 35 years, and you always had to be aware of mono in the beginning. Now it’s the exact same story, [the technology] has just changed, you know?”
Watch the exclusive roundtable video above. Click on each name to watch that person’s individual video interview.
For Kruse, “All Quiet on the Western Front” was a Netflix production from the beginning. “But we treated it as a theatrical film. It was always we mixed for a theatrical release the whole time, and then the dynamic reduction for the home theater version and stuff like that. But I mean in the old days it was much harder in a way to make sure everything was compatible. Atmos makes it so much easier. It just scales down so much more like seamlessly.”
Kruse and Taylor are part of some of the most acclaimed sound teams of 2022. Both movies made the Oscars shortlist in the sound category and both were recognized recently by the Motion Picture Sound Editors. During the panel, each man spoke highly of the other’s work – particularly how they translated the horrors of World War I.
Kruse says that while he thought about revisiting previous adaptations of “All Quiet on the Western Front” prior to working on the latest take from filmmaker Edward Berger, he decided against it.
“I haven’t been to war ever in my life and I hope I never have to, so there is no first-hand experience for myself. Everything I learned about wars and how it sounds is actually from movies or from documentaries,” Kruse says, a sentiment echoed by Taylor.
“In other words, it was whatever translates best. And also remember, there’s a difference between realism and film realism,” he says. “It’s an interesting conversation, because people always say, ‘Oh, we’re gonna make it real.’ Well, what does that mean? What does that ‘real’ mean? Are you talking about how you grew up in a theater, or what you’ve experienced in real life, which is kind of what Frank was talking about.”
Watch the full panel above. Both movies are now streaming on Netflix.