Berklee Today: Oscar-Winning Ears

Mark Small
September 10, 2008
Micahel Semanick '85
Photo by Anthony Pidgeon

Seated behind the long mixing console in the Akira Kurosawa re-recording room at Skywalker Sound, Michael Semanick and two other remixing engineers balance the dialogue sound effects, and music for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a new film by director David Fincher. They replay a scene many times and make slight changes to ensure that each sound element is in its proper place. Can each of Brad Pitt's words be understood above the random voices of the extras? Are his footsteps audible as he passes through the crowd on the staircase leading to the hallway? Is there too much reverb on Cate Blanchett's voice for a scene where the actress speaks in hushed tones to Pitt?

Read more about Michael Semanick '85 in Berklee Today.