On the sound of ‘TRON Legacy’

Posted by · 8:50 am · December 7th, 2010

For me, “TRON Legacy” is all about what you hear, and how you hear it.  The team at Skywalker Sound did a hell of a job creating a dynamic and unique aural environment.  In my opinion, it’s tops in both sound categories for the year.

So, naturally, I delighted in the SoundWorks Collection’s recent piece built around the principals on the crew, led by the likes of 13-time Oscar nominated sound re-recording mixer Christopher Boyes and supervising sound editor Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, herself a nominee last year for “Avatar.”

I’m holding out hope that the Academy at large can recognize this achievement over “Inception,” because it’s frankly a more involved and distinctive piece of work.  Check out the SoundWorks Collection’s focus on the work, featuring interviews with Whittle, sound designer Steve Boeddeker and re-recording mixer Gary Rizzo, after the jump.  (And yeah, there’s some Daft Punk talk.)

[Photo: SoundWorks Collection]

→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

17 responses so far

  • 1 12-07-2010 at 9:40 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    More entries in the “Lists” column are needed.

    A year end column indicating the top ten below the line features in 2010 films would be neat as well.

  • 2 12-07-2010 at 9:42 am

    Fitz said...

    I can understand why the Academy would want to pull for Inception here, but there is so much extra work for Tron Legacy’s world that to not recognize them would be a shame.

  • 3 12-07-2010 at 9:43 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Matt: How about you give us your list. I’M BUSY OVER HERE!

  • 4 12-07-2010 at 9:49 am

    Jacob S. said...

    Do you think it’s possible for Inception to be shut out in the craft categories? I can see Art Direction easily going over to any of the other nominees you listed, Cinematography going to True Grit, Film Editing going to The Social Network (though I guess Inception still has an excellent chance of nabbing this one), and TRON grabbing the sound categories (I wouldn’t count out TS3 getting Sound Editing either).

  • 5 12-07-2010 at 10:12 am

    Graysmith said...

    Inception vs. Tron Legacy, It’ll definitely be an interesting duel come Oscar time. Inception will probably be the favourite to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Tron Legacy “upsets” it in both categories. Just think of last year, with Avatar being the giant favourite and The Hurt Locker nabbing both Oscars. The big, obvious favourite doesn’t always win. I could see Tron Legacy taking the sound categories, and Inception taking visual effects. And that’d be absolutely fair too, by the sound of things.

  • 6 12-07-2010 at 10:25 am

    Maxim said...

    Extending the Avatar vs Hurt Locker analogy, I think that while both had warlike action elements, what HL had on its side is the fact that it took place in a far more reaslistic setting. I don’t know how big those particular branches are our on designs of soundscapes as such nor have I seen Tron so I cannot comment on how good it sounds in a movie theater (though I will say that all the footage I’ve seen looked boring and lacking in any sort of real dynamism) but conventional wisdom suggests that being set in a virtual world it would be an underdog to a movie taking place in a dream world. I also think that theoretically True Grit could do well in sound mixing and even editing.

  • 7 12-07-2010 at 10:37 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    It might be March before I see all of the necessary films of 2010 but my list is on the way!

  • 8 12-07-2010 at 11:30 am

    Loyal said...

    If I remember correctly, EVERYONE votes for the Best Sound winners, it isn’t a special branch thing like Best Documentary. So The Hurt Locker upsetting Avatar really came down to two things, a ground swell of support academy wide for The Hurt Locker (we’ve seen the piling on of Oscars for other BP winners in the past) and the fact that The Hurt Locker featured explosions. Sucks for Avatar but it’s trivial things that lead to winning Oscars sometimes.

    Tron: Legacy beating Inception in the Sound categories doesn’t seem likely to me, especially considering the real possibility of Tron: Legacy tanking at the box office (we’ll know soon enough). There’s also the matter of Inception needing to win something. I suspect it’ll take home 4-6 wins out of 10 nominations. Toy Story 3 aside, it’s the big Oscar nominee of the year.

    I’d like to add I’ve been listening to the Tron: Legacy score all day, it’s incredible. Well done Daft Punk!

  • 9 12-07-2010 at 11:58 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    Does anyone have a list of which awards are voted on by the entire Academy and which are voted on by a specific branch?

  • 10 12-07-2010 at 4:11 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Ugh, don’t count on it. For some inexplicable reason the Academy has really screwed up with the Sound categories for the last three years. It started with “The Bourne Ultimatum” taking both Sound Editing and Mixing, over “No Country for Old Men” and “Ratatouille” among others. Then in 2008 it hit its confounding peak with “WALL-E” somehow not winning EITHER Sound category… what? And last year both awards going to “The Hurt Locker” over “Star Trek” or “Avatar.”

    I guess we can hope they fix themselves up this year….

  • 11 12-07-2010 at 5:58 pm

    James C said...

    Very cool. Love these Soundwork Collections.

  • 12 12-07-2010 at 7:14 pm

    JTag said...

    Jeff Goldsmith at Creative Screenwriting had some fun little interview from the WGA panel where it was said that James Cameron was upset at the sound of gunfire at one point that the Avatar team was doing, and so he told them to go see the Hurt Locker’s mix for what he was looking for. I thought that was a great tidbit.

    Kris, a great question would be how many academy members learned for the first time last year what the difference between the sound categories was via the Morgan Freeman-narrated short during the Oscars? I feel like I could hear a collective “OOOOOh, that’s the difference” sigh coming through my TV screen at that moment in the telecast.

  • 13 12-07-2010 at 8:04 pm

    Ryan said...

    Just saw it this afternoon. It wasn’t perfect but at the same time I feel like it wasn’t trying to be… no matter, I had a blast and I can’t wait to see it again.

    Sound, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Art Direction, Cinematography (loved the shot of Sam standing atop Encom), even Costume Design… it deserves them all. But (and sorry to sound like a broken record) Daft Punk’s Score is really where TRON hits it out of the park, and then some. It’s great as a stand alone piece and absolutely phenomenal in the context of the film. I know this branch is notorious for being stuffy but TRON would really be a chance to redeem themselves.

    What about its Globe and BFCA chances? Maybe it could ride those to a nod?

  • 14 12-08-2010 at 5:02 am

    Graysmith said...

    I don’t think the Globes or BFCA are as stuffy about their music picks as the Academy. Last year both of them nominated The Informant! and Where The Wild Things Are, for example. It certainly stands a far better chance with them, though it’s probably still a longshot.

  • 15 12-08-2010 at 8:21 am

    Maxim said...

    Globes were also among the few to nominate the soundtrack for “The Fountain”.

  • 16 12-08-2010 at 11:22 am

    Loyal said...

    About Tron vs Inception for Score, there’s an interesting tidbit about Inception making the rounds today. Apparently Bay is editing Transformers 3 using Inception as the temp score and Inception has become the de facto temp score for many films in post.

    I hope that improves Inception’s chances.

  • 17 12-09-2010 at 11:16 am

    Maxim said...

    I don’t see how that improves the score’s chances.
    For one thing, if something can be easily plugged in into other films without much editing, doesn’t that serve to diminish the “everything should be written for the film it is used in” philosophy of the music branch?

    They are clearly not using it as a temp track because of it’s artistic qualities but because of its monotony. That in itself is not necessarily an insult. That’s what “de facto” scores historically been. Very rhythm based (thought frequently quite slow) and with lots of repetition.

    Still, do a lot of people respect Bay’s taste or specifically his taste for music?