DGC Ontario Sound Editor Adam Stein knows his way around spooky sound design. Last night he and his team won Best Sound Editing for In The Tall Grass at the DGC Awards, and he most recently completed work on The Craft: Legacy, available on demand today. We spoke with Adam about the sound of the film and what it was like to work on the follow-up to a cult classic.
How did you become involved in The Craft: Legacy?
I became involved in the film through Nelson Ferreira at Sound Dogs Toronto.
Can you tell us more about the sound of the film?.This film allowed for a ton of latitude when it came to sound. Along with our FX team, Dashen Naidoo, Tyler Whitham, and Claudia Pinto, we were able to use a combination of both naturalistic and mystical elements when shaping the piece. A couple of examples of this would be using recorded vocal variations for wind and possessions alongside captured electromagnetic fields to facilitate in attaining the low-end pushes of our protagonists forces.
Absence of sound was also key. In order to create our anxious and meditative moments, we had to separate the protagonists from the natural world around them. By accompanying these moments with things like the manipulated vibrations of a champagne glass or the processed state of a traffic wash, we attempted to compliment these instances.
What do you love most about working in Toronto?
The people. The community. The talent. There is an incredible amount of talent within the film community in Toronto. I’m lucky enough to have formed some great friendships along the way as well.
What is it like designing the sound to the follow-up of such a cult classic?
You always feel fortunate when you’re given the opportunity to take on the task of designing someone’s film. With The Craft: Legacy, in particular, it was a pretty cool thing to be a part of. I remember watching the original in the 90’s for the first time with my sisters. I remember watching it for the second time, the third time, the fourth time…that film affected so many facets of that generation that there was definitely pressure for us to deliver and do the original proud. I think what really helped us was approaching it with a fresh perspective sound-wise..Where do you turn for inspiration when you need to get the creative juices flowing?.I would say that the creativity really starts to bubble when everything is switched off. When you’re able to step away from the work and relax your attention.
When you’re hiking in the forest, taking a long walk in the city, or doing absolutely nothing near the water, you often discover something that you’ve never heard before, or perhaps never paid attention to. Watching films. Whether they be ones that I’ve seen a thousand times or ones that I’ve never seen before, that’s probably the best way for me to get inspired. It’s really the reason why I got into working in film. I also find that talking to friends and colleagues about new techniques, ideas, or equipment really ignites creativity. They often provide insight from an angle that I never would have thought to approach from.