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Qianbaihui Yang has pointed a microphone at a roaring, spitting jaguar, walked alongside biting camels and stood near a pack of playful, loud elephants—all to capture realistic sound effects.

A sound editor at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, Calif., near San Francisco, Ms. Yang edits dialogue between characters for film and television and creates and synchronizes scene-specific sounds, such as tires spinning, feet clomping or sirens blaring.

Most recently, she helped edit “Toy Story 4,” due out in June, and has worked on films including “Captain Marvel,” “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Cars 3.” She spoke with The Wall Street Journal about her job and career path; here are edited excerpts.

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Avengers: Endgame soars at the box office and has taken in an astonishing $2.2 billion in less than two weeks – making it the 2nd highest-grossing movie in history worldwide (!).

Supervising sound editor Shannon Mills has worked on a number of Marvel movies, and in this exclusive A Sound Effect interview, he gives you the in-depth story about that Avengers: Endgame sound – including the audio team’s tactics for creating sounds that match the scale of what’s on-screen, how they kept the epic battles from becoming a chaotic mess, working with (and recreating) unique superhero signature sounds & much more:


Written by Jennifer Walden, images courtesy of The Walt Disney Company.

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Captain Marvel continues its huge success at the box office, and here, supervising sound designer/re-recording mixer Christopher Boyes gives you the inside-story on how the sound for the film was made.

He covers everything from crafting Captain Marvel’s signature sounds, the sound of the Kree technology, the Skrull shape-shifting sound, to how they made the conflicts feel distinct, sonic teamwork and creative sound design solutions. He also talks about creating the impressively-sounding final mix:


Written by Jennifer Walden, images courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is number one at the US box office, and Oscar-winning supervising sound editor/sound designer/re-recording mixer Randy Thom and MPSE award-winning sound designer Al Nelson were the sonic masters behind the film’s impressively evocative sound.

Here, they describe the sound of the dragon’s Hidden World, and dive into the creative details of creating sounds for new dragons, such as the Light Fury and the Death Grippers, and how they created new, more emotive sounds for Toothless. They also look back at their now-classic sound work on the Dragon films:


Written by Jennifer Walden. Images courtesy of Dreamworks.

 

Crafting How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’s impressive sound – with Randy Thom & Al Nelson

 

 

Several Bay Area residents worked on the Oscar-nominated blockbuster smash “Black Panther“, up for six awards on Sunday.

 

One of the biggest elements of making “Black Panther” an international success is something you may not have even been aware of, but most definitely felt.

 

The sound.

 

Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Benjamin A. Burtt are all Bay Area natives and residents. They worked together with a team of about 15 on the sound design and mixing of the film. Two of the six awards the movie is up for are Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The men call it a “team effort,” and said mixing and editing for this movie was unique for many reasons.

 

“There is an important message to convey with what this movie is doing. It just means so much to people around the world, but it’s also got to be wrapped up in the magic of a Marvel movie,” said Boeddeker.

 

Proctor chimed in to add, “On this job I was mixing dialogue and Steve and I both share the music duties, which is kind of unique.”

 

Thousands of layers of sound laid down second by second meant nine long months of work, both at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, then later in Los Angeles.

 

The secret sauce to making great sound for a blockbuster film?

 

“We went out of our way to make sure we had a good time and people who came to us always felt the energy in the room.”

 

“Black Panther” is up against a tough field in both sound categories, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “A Star is Born” and “First Man.” The “Black Panther” team isn’t making any predictions for the big night.

 

Boeddeker said, “I have a very good feeling that I am going to have a good time!”

 

Proctor said, “to be honest, being nominated is already amazing, you know? There are so many amazing sounding films, just to be a part of those five films is amazing.”

 

If Boeddeker, Proctor and Burtt win on Sunday, it will be each man’s first Oscar.

 

Congratulations to the NEXT GEN team for their MPSE Golden Reel Award win this weekend in the category of Non-Theatrical Animation Long-Form!

 

A complete list of awards can be found here.