Monday, 6 December 2010

FILM TIE IN: The Sounds of Star Wars - J W Rinzler, Ben Burtt

Release Date: 22/09/10


The story of the sound effects created for the Star Wars films featuring a state-of-the-art sound module with more than 250 sounds. In 1977, when Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope hit theatres, moviegoers were blown away by a cinematic experience unlike anything they had seen - or heard - before. A young man named Ben Burtt was behind the revolutionary sound effects and went on to develop the sound design for all of the Star Wars films. His trademark was using found sounds along with electronic manipulation to give the film an authentic and many-layered effect. In Star Wars Sounds, we find out the origins of many of these pioneering sounds: How Aunt Beru's Food Processor is a series of slowed-down beeps that come from a short-wave radio belonging to Burtt's grandfather. The beeps were originally recorded in the attic of Burtt's Ohio home. How the sound of the Millennium Falcon was created when Burtt went to the National Air Races in the Mojave desert and recorded World War II-era racing planes flying directly overhead. The occasional thunderclap or lion's roar was also mixed in during the moment the Falcon passed by the camera. How Burtt based the Jawa language on Zulu, then accelerated and raised the pitch of the actors' performances. And how an insanely aggressive dachshund owned by Burtt's neighbours provided the sounds that became the murderous roar of the massive Rancor beast.


Fans of the Star Wars Universe probably haven’t really questioned the origins of the sound effects yet despite the huge ligh shows and the possibilities of technology it’s the sound effects that either make or break a film.

Here in this title, the reader not only gets to read about how the effects were created but can listen as they learn through the nifty sound player with numbered tracks.

It not only adds to the experience but also will allow the star wars fan the chance to run around making their own, which, were they a roleplayer would add to that experience. A great book, although the price may make some blanch it’s definitely something special that will please any fan. Just remember to watch it when family members turn up, I know that at least one of mine will covet it.

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