Sergio Diaz Interview: ‘Roma’ sound editor
Because “Roma” is based on Alfonso Cuaron‘s own experiences growing up in Mexico City in the 1970s, sound editor Sergio Diaz spent a lot of time with the director talking about “his memories.” Together, they wanted to weave together “all the specific sounds in that period,” which required Diaz to do his “own research.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Diaz did “many, many passes” on the soundtrack, providing “different options” for the director to choose from. He searched far and wide for “the bird sounds in Mexico City, for the car sounds, for the atmospheres, for the vendors,” keeping in mind the specific period he needed to convey in this story of a poor maid (Yalitza Aparicio) working for a middle-class family.
After amassing these various audio elements Diaz needed to “build specific moments in all the worlds around the film” in order to create the “neighborhood” of Mexico City. “We have cinemas, hospitals, the students … the rich people … the poor people, the beaches.”
This is his first collaboration with Cuaron as a director, but Diaz previously worked with him as a producer on “Desierto” (2015), which was helmed by the Oscar winner’s son, Jonas Cuaron. He has frequently collaborated with the other two amigos in that triumvirate of Mexican filmmaking talent, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, winning a Motion Picture Sound Editors award for Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and also earning nominations for Inarritu’s “Babel” (2006) and Del Toro’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008). His other credits include “21 Grams” (2003), “Apocalypto” (2006), and “Into the Wild” (2007).
“Roma” has already won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was recently nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards and British Independent Film Awards for Best International Film. It opens in select theaters on November 21 and will stream on Netflix on December 14.