This week’s sounds were made for the short film “When I Grow Up” by Colin Hesterly. The video is an homage to the cartoons of the 40s and 50s so I wanted the sound effects to be reminiscent of that era as well.
I found these inspiring videos about the sound effects masters behind the old disney cartoons.
What strikes me watching these videos, is how creating sound effects was so much more of a performance in those days than it typically is now. I love the comment about how many sound effects artists back then were drummers. Makes sense. Being a competent musician is still helpful for modern day sound designers, but with digital technology performance is often taken out of the equation in a way that just wasn’t possible when these cartoons were made.
For my contribution to “When I Grow Up” I wanted to incorporate some of these performative elements back into my workflow. Of course, being a child of the digital era, I couldn’t help but do a round of processing as well. To make the train sound, I first performed the sound by huffing and puffing into an empty plastic ketchup bottle, then I pitched and EQ’d the sound a bit in Pro Tools, layered in a bit of an actual train recording, and edited my performance to better match the tempo of the music. The ketchup bottle also came in handy when making the sound of the river boat.