The Academy Award Nominated Sound Design Team for Apple TV+’s Greyhound discusses how they created the sounds for the film.
Apple TV+ earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound for the film Greyhound — and rightfully so. My husband is a United States Navy Veteran and when we watched Greyhound together he said he could close his eyes and it would feel like he was right back on the water. The fact that there was no actual ship, no actual water, and no actual torpedoes, makes this even more impressive. I recently talked with the award nominated sound team for Greyhound, to get all the details.
Participating Sound Team Members
- David Wyman
- Warren Shaw
- Beau Borders
Putting together the sound for a film can take just as long, or longer, than filming the actual movie. The sound team explains that the schedule of the sound post-production on Greyhound was somewhat start and stop. Often they would stop working on the sound for a while so the visual effects department would have time to construct more of the images. But that said, there was sound editorial work happening on Greyhound for the better part of a year.
Three Teams Working Together
Beau Borders did a great job of explaining how the sound team works in a movie like Greyhound. There are separate categories to sound. Of course, there is the dialogue recorded on set that David and his team take care of. Warren and his crew create the sound for things that don’t exist — for example in this movie there is no water, no ships, and no torpedoes. The third category is the music.
We have all seen a band play, there are different members for each instrument, sound effects are the same way. Every single element is created separately so that the sound team has ultimate control over it and can decide what we hear and when.
Warren Shaw pointed out that this is the first year the Academy has combined sound editing and sound mixing into one category. He loves that they are all three being recognized together because even though they don’t interact in person much, they work on the same team and all are integral in the final product.
Hiding Mics & Making It Period Accurate
One of the most interesting things we discussed is that there are hundreds of feet of cable and mics that David’s crew painted so that it would blend in with the “ship” during filming, and be virtually unnoticeable to the audience. David laughed saying that he never looks for them in the final shots because he knows exactly where they are.
In order to prepare, David visited USS ships for 3 days to walk around and make sure that he knew everything he could about how the sound works on a ship. He analyzed how the internal communications work. For example, when a captain gives an order, how does that get communicated through the vessel and who and how does the crew respond. This was extremely important so that everything can be authentic in the film, which is something I pointed out in my Greyhound review, that they got it all right.
David explains that everything has to be period correct — life jackets, helmets, phones, two-way speaker units, etc. They all make distinct sounds, and those sounds had to sound exactly right in the final cut of the film. All of the props were from the 1940s and none of them worked. David and his team needed to modify all the equipment and get it to work so that the sound and communication was as authentic as it should be, and flowed as seamlessly as it does in war time.
Tom Hanks stars as a longtime Navy veteran who, as a first-time captain, is tasked with protecting a convoy of 37 ships carrying thousands of soldiers and much-needed supplies across the treacherous waters of the Atlantic during WWII. For five days with no air cover, the captain and his small force of three escort ships must make their way through an area of the ocean known as “the Black Pit,” battling Nazi U-boats while protecting their invaluable ships and soldiers.
GREYHOUND is inspired by events during the Battle of the Atlantic, which took place in the earliest months of America’s alliance with Great Britain and the Allied Forces. Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue star alongside Hanks. GREYHOUND was written by Tom Hanks, directed by Aaron Schneider, and produced by Gary Goetzman.