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Ben Burtt Interview, Wall-E
Sheila Roberts, Movies Online Canada has put out a Q&A with WALL-E sound designer Ben Burtt, where he talks at length about the sound design process on the movie and other related topics.
SHEILA ROBERTS : What about the interplay between the animators? Typically the voices are recorded before and the sound bytes are afterwards. How did it work with this?
BEN BURTT: You’re right. Normally in animation the dialogue is recorded and locked down, takes are selected, and the animators then use those as references for timing and performance. We did actually kind of the same thing here. I started working three years ago on the dialogue for this film and auditioning voices. At first I would make up sets of sounds as auditions for Andrew. I would play a voice and some motors and I’d say, “What do you think of this? Could this be Wall-E?” He might pick out the things he likes the most and we would keep that collection aside and I would string together little montages and then we started giving them to animators and animators would just freely animate to the sounds. Wall-E could come in and play with a ball, slip and fall, or do something, and we had numerous tests, and I could see immediately of course the huge input in a performance that the animation had.In fact, you would think I would know better, but I was really surprised. They could do amazing things with just a pose, a little movement of the head and the sound seemed so much more authentic when it was sunc up so perfectly. So we went back and forth and developed a sound and picture together and so therefore we ended up with these little character studies. You could play it like a little audition tape. The character would come in, introduce himself and talk and show off their functions so you would hear it and see it. We got confident after awhile that this is what Eve should be and this is what Wall-E should be and then they could move ahead and start animating the movie itself and put it in the story so it was a back and forth process. >> Read the Article
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