Brief list of credits
Swiss Army Man, Niko and the Sword of Light, The Employer, Rick and Morty
Hi Russell, thank you for taking time and doing this interview. Let’s start by introducing yourself and telling us how you started working as a sound designer/editor?
Hi Zdravko. I got sucked into the love for sound when I was about 10. My Dad showed me movies like Terminator, Star Wars, Alien, and many others. It was Terminator 2, to be specific, that really stood out to me. That movie really got me thinking about sound and how much of an impact it can have on an audience. But I didn’t really know how to go about getting involved to build a career, so I studied music, and broke in that way.
Let’s talk a bit about Swiss Army Man starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. How did you get involved with the project and what were your main responsibilities?
A friend of mine works with a studio that has a relationship with the Daniels, who directed the movie. They were on a super tight deadline and I got asked to help out. I jumped on board not knowing how big this movie was going to be.
I’d like to thank Brent Kiser and Andrew Twite for bringing me on to the project.
Did you also record any of the sounds for the Swiss Army Man?
To be honest, no haha. I really didn’t have time to go out and record fresh sounds unfortunately. I did use fx that I previously recorded for other projects, and fx from other sources.
As a sound editor, what do you think was the most difficult part when making Swiss Army Man?
I’d have to say Radcliffs bone crunching. Because the character is a corpse, his movements needed to sound like his body was going through rigor mortis. But because this isn’t a horror film, his movements couldn’t sound too gory, and it needed to be a bit more “playful”.
What would you consider to be the most important part as a sound effects editor?
Telling the story. As soon as the audience looses focus on the story, the film suffers.
You have also done quite a lot of TV work too. What would you say is the biggest difference between TV and film as a sound editor?
With exception to this project, Id have to say time. TV deadlines are significantly tighter than film deadlines.
A while ago we did an interview about your sound libraries. Since then you have released quite a few new sound effects libraries. Can you tell us more about your latest release Squeaks and Creaks Two?
Im a big fan of horror, so I wanted to collect a large amount of material that involved tension and suspense. Creaks are one of my favorite sounds, so I figured I center the library around that.
How did you plan the library and how long did it take for you to finish it?
I recorded material for about a year. Finding props here and there that made cool sounds. I planned a couple of trips to go out and find old doors and gates, but that was about all the planning I did.
This one is for the gear heads. Would you mind, telling us a bit about your technical setup and the gear you’re using?
I have a sound devices 702 and use a Rode NTG3 and a stereo pair of Barcus Berry Contact mics. I also use a Sony PCM D100 quite a bit.
Do you have any tips for aspiring sound designers, on how to gain a foothold in the film audio industry?
I watch a ton of movies, and I get a lot of ideas from that. There is no easy way to brake in, just meet as many people as you can and hopefully someone will give you a shot.
Russell, thank you so much for taking the time and answering my questions! I wish you all the best for your future projects.