Robert Hein Q&A: ‘Paterson’ sound designer
“He goes in and out of his own world through the film, and our goal in sound and music was to draw us like the world draws him,” said “Paterson” sound designer Robert Hein about tapping into the title character’s mindset in the indie drama. Hein was part of a “Meet the Experts” panel presented by Gold Derby at the Landmark Theater in L.A. on Nov. 16 to spotlight great achievements in crafts. Watch him discuss the film in our video below.
“Paterson” tells the story of a bus driver (Adam Driver) who is also a poet, and the film explores the contrast between his day-to-day experiences and his interior life: “He needs to work. He goes to work in an everyday world, then he goes into his poetic imagination, so it was our endeavor to make the music and the sound take you in and out of his world.”
Director Jim Jarmusch “is very interested in subtlety, so we spent a lot of time dealing with very subtle, very delicate sounds,” Hein said. And in doing so they took a unique approach. “One thing we did in ‘Paterson’ … I took children’s music and I reinvented it into otherworldly kinds of sounds. I showed those to Jim and [Affonso Goncalves] the editor and they loved them.”
Hein’s career as a sound artist goes back more than 40 years, and in that time he has worked as a sound editor or mixer on a wide range of films including “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), “The Pelican Brief” (1993), “Before Night Falls” (2000), “The Royal Tenenbaums” (1999), “Precious” (2009), “The Butler” (2013) and “Beasts of No Nation” (2015).
He has also worked extensively with Woody Allen, earning a BAFTA nomination for Allen’s “Radio Days” (1987) and then working on some of the filmmaker’s most famous titles, including “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994), “Everyone Says I Love You” (1996), “Midnight in Paris” (2011) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013), among many others.