CNET News Video: The sounds of Smaug and others from the 'Hobbit'
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CNET News Video: The sounds of Smaug and others from the 'Hobbit'

3:22 /

Go behind the scenes of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" with Christopher Boyes, the Oscar-nominated sound mixer on the film. Hear how he collaborated with filmmaker Peter Jackson and how he used Dolby Atmos sound technology to create a more menacing Smaug.

-The Atmos for me is the opportunity to bring the audience more into an immersive world with sound. -The king is angry, Tauriel. -Peter is, you know, he just loves technology and he loves to push the envelope. He's aware of what we can do with this as well and he'll throw out ideas, will throw out ideas about how we may treat a sound or how we may whether that would actually be a sound that might be interesting to play around with Atmos. -Where are you? -We walk into a real silence but a silence that you can hear of this room just echoing and one way you know that is that Bilbo walks down and he knocks on the wall and the knock kind of goes on forever. -I will not risk this quest for the life of one burglar. -That's an interesting scene for Atmos because it gives us the ability to sort of really open that room up so that the audience feels this massive stone hall. At the same time, you know, we would have Smaug's voice and his growls do this interesting thing where they would emanate from his mouth, but then they would flow through the room and then bounce off the back walls. These sort of present to Peter and Fran our first pass but, you know, we only go so far in the sense that, you know, we're thinking about sound and they're thinking about story and they come in and say, yes, that's cool what you did here, but this is what's happening dramatically. That collaboration with the filmmaker for us as mixers is crucial and it makes us do some things that are far more amazing than we do on our own with Peter and Fran's direction. If I took a specific wind and put it up in the ceiling you felt like you were up on top of a mountain looking at this huge vista around you. -What if it's a trap? -Both of us look at each other and so the light went off and we realized oh, we have to be really discrete and we have to make very smart decisions about what sounds we put where and how we blend them. And so that was a big lesson for me and Atmos. -Come forth. -When the academy at large acknowledges that with a nomination, it's sort of like oh boy, that feels really good. Michael Semanick is mixing the music. Michael Hedges mixing the dialogue and myself, Christopher Boyes, I'm mixing the sound effect. We know what we put into it and we know we're incredibly proud of it, but to know that other people hear that as well and acknowledge it is just enormous, and if we've done our job well nobody should be thinking about sound. They should be having a good movie-going experience. -Do not think I won't kill you, dwarf.
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