Horror Sound Effects: The Sound behind the Image III – Real Horrorshow

Forbidden Planet Lobby Card
Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera
Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project
Horror sound effects: Forbidden Planet lobby card (top); Lon Chaney in the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera (middle); Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project (bottom)

“The Sound behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!” sounds like an ideal pre-Halloween night out for horror movie fans. An Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presentation, “The Sound behind the Image III” will explore the art and technology of sound in movies, especially in horror films, on Thursday, October 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Organized by the Academy's Science and Technology Council, the event will be hosted by Oscar-winning supervising sound editor David E. Stone, and will feature film clips tracing the evolution of sound in horror films from the pre-sound days of The Phantom of the Opera (1925) through films of the digital age such as The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Cloverfield (2008). (Without all the loud sound effects, for instance, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is less scary than The Sound of Music. Trust me, I know – I kept my index fingers planted firmly in my ears throughout the whole film.)

Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Veronica Cartwright - The Birds
Veronica Cartwright, Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Alfred Hitchcock, and lots of winged extras on the set of The Birds (1963)

Mark Mangini, a three-time Oscar nominee for Sound Effects Editing, and Richard L. Anderson, a two-time Oscar nominee for Sound Effects Editing and the recipient of a Special Achievement Award, will demonstrate how sound effects were created for Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist (1982), which, as per the Academy's release, “elevated horror sound from B-movie quality to full-scale, multichannel modernism.”

Vanessa Theme Ament, foley artist, teacher and author (The Foley Grail) will also take the stage to present the work of master foley artist John Post. In his work on such films as John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) and as a trainer/mentor to other foley artists, Post has “influenced the way sound effects are created for horror films today and helped make foley a respected and necessary part of every horror soundtrack.”

Additionally, Oscar-winning production sound mixer Gene Cantamessa and supervising sound editor Don Hall will discuss their work behind the scenes of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974). (Above, James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and Mae Clarke [upper photo]; Bela Lugosi [right] in Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula [lower photo].)

And finally, sound effects editor and foley artist Louis Kleinman, sound rerecording mixer Christian Minkler, and sound effects wrangler Steve Lee will also take part in onstage discussions.

Tickets to “The Sound behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!,” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.

Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open one hour prior to the event. All seating is unreserved.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at the 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Photos: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library

Oscar winners Mark Jonathan Harris Deborah OppenheimerOscar winners Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer with 'Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport' talent.

Oscar-winning documentary 'Into the Arms of Strangers' Academy screening

Nov. 4 update: As part of its “Oscar's Docs” series, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000) at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood on Monday, Nov. 2, '09.

Pictured above following the screening (left to right):

  • Composer Lee Holdridge.
  • Oscar-winning producer Deborah Oppenheimer.
  • Oscar-winning writer/director Mark Jonathan Harris.
  • Editor Kate Amend.
  • Associate producer Alicia Dwyer.

According to the Academy's cursory synopsis for Into the Arms of Strangers, the film revolves around “one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust.” That's what's called Kindertransport, which “saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children.”

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

Oscar winner Tracy SereteanOscar winner Tracy Seretean: 'Big Mama' screening.

Oscar-winning documentary 'Big Mama' screening

Pictured above is Oscar-winning producer/director Tracy Seretean, whose Big Mama (2000) was also screened at the Linwood Dunn on Nov. 2.

The 40-minute Big Mama features an 89-year-old black woman struggling to raise her grandson in Los Angeles' urban jungle.

Oscar winners Richard Anderson David Stone'The Sound Behind the Image.'

Sound in horror films

“The Sound Behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!,” presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science and Technology Council, focused on the role of sound in horror films, from the dawn of the sound era to the digital age. “Real Horrorshow!” was held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Pictured above at the reception before the event:

  • (seated left to right) Foley artist John Post.
  • Academy governor/supervising sound editor Don Hall.
  • Oscar-winning sound mixer Gene Cantamessa.
  • (standing left to right) Barry Weiss, chairman of Public Programs and Education for the Science and Technology Council.
  • Sound editor Lou Kleinman.
  • Oscar-winning sound editor Richard Anderson.
  • Oscar-winning sound editor/host David Stone.
  • Sound mixer Christian P. Minkler.
  • Council member Tad Marburg.
Oscar winner David StoneOscar-winning sound editor/host David E. Stone ('Dracula').
Oscar winner Richard AndersonOscar-winning sound editor Richard Anderson ('Raiders of the Lost Ark').

“The Sound Behind the Image” photos: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.

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