Julian Slater video interview (sound design for ‘Last Night in Soho’)


“Sound design did not even exist in the 60s”, exclaims Julien slater. The two-time Oscar nominee had his work cut out for him, while building the sound for Edgar wright “Last night in Soho.” The horror-tinged drama sees current-mode student Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) dragged into the past when she becomes obsessed with Sandie’s mind (Anya Taylor-Joy), a young singer from the 1960s. Slater reveals that the key to the sound design of this time jump was “all the experimentation.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“Those weird things you would never think of are the ones that create more sound patterns in the movie,” Slater explains of his experimental process. In order to capture these “weird things”, he frequently asked team members to record the sounds of Soho at 3 a.m. It was an attempt to capture the seedy underbelly of the neighborhood that the characters in the film would encounter in the ’60s.

SEE Interview with Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou: makeup and hairstyle “Last Night in Soho”

In order to further improve the frame, Slater avoided modern techniques and devices for many footage. His desire was to infuse the dialogue with a “warm analog vibe” and for his sound design to be an ode to the music and sonic qualities of the 1960s. It is a process that requires immense trial and error. which Wright welcomed during production. “This is fertile ground for creation,” notes Slater. “No one is afraid to launch crazy ideas. Even if we suspect they will fail.

Slater is both the supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer for “Last Night in Soho”. While he admits that these jobs normally exist as “two separate entities,” it seems fair to have a more seamless approach to an Edgar Wright film. “With Edgar’s films being so involved and sonically demanding, that’s how it’s always been,” notes the designer. Slater appreciates how the director “encourages the sound design, the score and the needle drops to work together.” Whether it’s working with a piece of music or dialogue, or finding the sound effect that’s just odd enough for a sequence, Slater says “it’s a cohesive soundscape.”

Slater received Oscar nominations for “Baby Driver” in the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories (two races which have since been combined into one category by the Academy). He is also a two-time BAFTA nominee for “Hillary and Jackie” and “Baby Driver”, and a two-time Emmy nominee for “Animal Farm” and “Tsunami: The Aftermath”.

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