Most people never notice the sound in a movie theater. As long as they can hear the dialogue and feel the explosions, they’re happy. But for cinefiles and people that understand how movies really work, sound is an art form.
While many have worked wonders bringing inanimate objects to life with sound design in the movies, one of the best working in the entire industry is Ben Burtt.
He’s the man that made millions of children scared of Darth Vader. He gave Indiana Jones a little extra pop when he punched someone. He’s also the one that made all of George Lucas’ CGI worlds in the Star Wars prequels have any life. And this year he made audiences around the world fall in love with a CG robot named Wall-e.
While the movie Wall-e had many challenges, I think the biggest was making people care about a protagonist that didn’t speak. After all, how can anyone know what someone feels when they can’t express in words what’s going on in their head.
But Wall-e did speak.
In fact, I think Wall-e spoke more eloquently than most of the actors I saw in countless movies this year. And the reason was Ben Burtt.
Ben was the one who came up with Wall-e’s sounds and his voice. He’s the one who designed what Wall-e would sound like as he crossed over land and metal. Ben was the reason you believed Wall-e was real.
Now that you know what Ben Burtt did for Wall-e, you’ll understand why I was excited to see Ben demonstrate how he made Wall-e come to life when I went to Pixar a little over a month ago.