Podcast 108: Lon Bender

Academy Award-winning sound editor Lon Bender explains the process of adding sound to a movie, how the process has evolved over the years, and how a home-theater mix differs from a commercial-cinema mix. He also shares some anecdotes from several projects he's worked on, including The Hunger Games and Drive, talks about the problem of not enough sound isolation between theaters in a multiplex, answers chat-room questions, and more.

Run Time: 1:06:32

Click here to listen to this podcast.

Lon Bender is widely known and recognized for his contribution to cinema as co-founder of Soundelux and for his award-winning work as a Supervising Sound Editor on over 60 films. During the past three decades, he has continuously worked to reinvent and revolutionize the audio post-production industry and its technologies. He continues to oversee the company’s sound library operations under the brand name The Hollywood Edge.

Lon teamed with Wylie Stateman in 1982 to form Soundelux Entertainment Group. Together, Lon and Wylie built numerous production, post-production and manufacturing divisions. The company’s audio publishing division created more than 100 books on tape. Later, a theme park systems and software provider was created, which would eventually rival Disney’s Imagineering. They produced audio/video delivery and control systems around the world.

From 2000 through 2005, Lon served as the President of Ascent Media’s Creative Sound Services Group, now CSS Studios. During that time CSS-Studios division, Todd-AO went through a revitalization and modernization which included a citywide Gigabit Network which links all its facilities for audio and video sharing. The reinvention of the work process has enabled sound editing and mixing to fluidly integrate.

For his work as a supervising sound editor, Lon has gained industry-wide recognition. In 1995, he received an Academy Award®, British Academy Award® and Golden Reel Award® for his efforts on Braveheart. Lon's contributions on the films Glory and Last of the Mohicans were recognized with Academy Awards® for Best Sound. He was also presented with an Academy Award® for Technical Achievement in 1994. The last twelve months have been busy as he has spent more time in the studio designing tracks for The Hunger Games and Drive, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.

Here's the video of this podcast:

WazNeeni's picture

The problem with claiming that using completely inaccurate sounds for car chases, space and firearms is for "story" is that the audience is not stupid. Having a car shift gears 18 times in an inaccurate manner, with respect to what's on the screen, is incredibly distracting and "takes me out of the movie." When I see this, I automatically feel like the film makers believe I'm too stupid to understand when a car would actually need to shift gears. Space is a little different, because a lot of people don't realize sound doesn't travel in the vacuum of space. Why? Because film makers lie in order to make things more "exciting." *coughMichaelBaycough* And, I don't buy the idea about microphone sensitivity, and that guns actually do make those sounds when handled, because I can shake mine right next to my ear, and it doesn't rattle at all.

Don't assume your audience is stupid. Ever! Or we will stop giving you money, because we don't enjoy paying for the privilege of being insulted.

mycatneedsfood's picture

Reason why I think boring is they always use the same often sound effects rather than, "lets create something new for this film" they create a small portion but often you hear the same recycled sound effect and it distracts me takes me away and out of the films soundtrack.

I have Drive and it was just a load of Dribble the sound was boring. They always centre dialouge rather than "lets pan it around and make it seem a little more interesting" but they always keep it centred today and its becoming boring.

Bring back 70mm 5 screen with dialouge panning it makes it seem almost real and better than any 3-d film.

I've seen stopped going to state of the art cinemas they're nothing but a distraction now with 3-d.

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