Saturday, June 28, 2008
The name probably doesn't ring any bells but we've been "fhooomnnn-ing", "tttzzzz'ing" and "whoosh-ing" trying to imitate Ben Burtt's work since the first time we heard a light saber drawn or Indy's whip crack. Burtt has his stamp on tons of legendary flicks and characters. A short list of some of his work:
The light saber in "Star Wars": The feedback from a malfunctioning television set and the whirring of an idling film projector.
The whip in "Raiders of the Lost Ark": Recording of an actual whip, which at one point Harrison Ford demonstrated on the side of the road in San Anselmo. The "whooshing" sound of the whip in the film is a Harrier jet.
The TIE Fighter engine in "Star Wars": Combination of an elephant's roar (slowed down considerably) with the sound of a car driving fast on a rain-slicked road.
The cockroach named Hal in "WALL-E": Hal's voice was composed of sped-up raccoon noises, and the sound of his feet skittering along the floor was made by clicking handcuffs - recorded with the help of Burtt's police officer neighbor.
I thought he was totally showing off in Wall-E and I loved it!