Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Release Date



  • Midge Costin

An examination of how sound design transforms the cinematic experience, and an exploration of the cutting edge of sound technology.

As much as we all love Steven Spielberg’s films, so many of them wouldn’t be the same without the efforts of sound mixer extraordinaire Gary Rydstrom—Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs wouldn’t be so breathtakingly authentic, and Saving Private Ryan’s opening Omaha Beach battle sequence wouldn’t be so visceral. The same can be said for every other great director, all of whom depend on their most trusted sound designers to enhance their film’s visuals and bring emotions and spectacle to sonic life. Yet for all of the universal adoration given to those who work behind the camera on sets, cinema’s sound experts have gone largely unnoticed, overseeing a project’s most potentially memorable work with anonymity.

Until now. Through interviews with acclaimed directors (including David Lynch, Ryan Coogler, Sofia Coppola, George Lucas, and Barbra Streisand) and their most trusted sound partners, including Walter Murch, Ben Burtt, Alan Splet, and Ludwig Göransson, documentarian Midge Costin’sMaking Waves puts the long-overdue spotlight on film’s audible magic, both breaking down the creative process and offering firsthand anecdotes about the making of several all-time classics.

—Matt Barone, Tribeca Film Festival

Past Programs


The sound of cinema

Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN

Foley art: More than meets the ear

Cameo Cinema, St Helena, CA

Creating Oscar-worthy cinematic sound

FilmScene, Iowa City, IA


[VIRTUAL] The power of sound

Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI