Ben-Burtt

Director Andrew Stanton originally wanted to juxtapose the opening shots of space with 1930s French swing music, but he saw The Triplets of Belleville and did not want to appear as if he were copying it. Stanton then thought about the song “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello, Dolly!, since he had portrayed the sidekick Barnaby Tucker in a 1980 high school production. (x)

Wall-E (2008)

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We have to be honest, we never would have thought of those sounds being the basis for the Walkers. Ben Burtt is a mad genius.

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In this nearly 16-minute featurette, George Lucas, Ben Burtt, and Mark Hamill talk about the aim, origins and uses of the iconic weapon throughout the saga.

  • The sound of the Imperial Walkers were created by modifying the sound of a machinist’s punch press. Added to this for complexity, were the sounds of bicycle chains being dropped on concrete.
  • The screech of a TIE Fighter is a drastically altered elephant bellow.
  • 50 % of R2-D2’s voice is generated electronically; the rest is a combination and blending of water pipes, whistles, and vocalizations by the creator of pretty much all sound effects in Star Wars, Ben Burtt
  • Wookie sounds are constructed out of pieces of walruses, dogs and a little bit of lion.
  • Laser blasts are the results of a hammer on an antenna tower guy wire.
  • Burtt blended the sounds of his TV set and an old 35 mm projector to create the hum of a lightsaber.
  • Speeder Bike sounds were achieved by mixing together the recorded sounds of a P-5 Mustang ariplane and a P-38 Lockheed Interceptor.
  • The whoosh of Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder was achieved by recording the roar the Los Angeles Harbor Freeway through a vacuum-cleaner pipe.
  • The Ewok language was created by altering and layering Tibetan, Mongolian, and Nepali languages.
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R2-D2: One of the galaxy’s most beloved characters, and he never says a word.

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THE BIRTH OF THE LIGHT SABER

Using the force can be a strenuous activity. Why pop a blood vessel exerting yourself when you can just as easily pick up a badass weapon like the light saber? In this video featurette, George Lucas, Mark Hamill and Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt tell the story of how one of the most iconic movie props came to be.

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Ben Burtt on his inspiration for some of our favorite sounds in the galaxy… the hum and clash of a lightsaber.

Most of the robots are voiced by Ben Burtt through mechanical sounds of his creation. He recorded 2500 different sounds for the film, twice the average of a Star Wars movie, and also the most that Burtt had ever recorded for one feature film. His involvement with the film lasted for two years. When Andrew Stanton met with Burtt to pitch the idea of him working on the film, he told him, “I need you to be 80% of my cast!”

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Ben Burtt explains the details of Boba Fett in his very first appearance anywhere. 

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Chewbacca: You may not understand what he’s saying, but you always know what he means.