Talking Pictures #8: Midge Costin, Director of MAKING WAVES

Today’s guest is sound editor-turned-filmmaker Midge Costin. Midge worked as a sound and dialogue editor on some of the biggest films of the Nineties – ARMAGEDDON, CON AIR, THE ROCK, BROKEN ARROW, CRIMSON TIDE – but also on films like CRY-BABY, LEAP OF FAITH or SWING KIDS. She later became a teacher at the University of Southern California – and most recently, she created a brilliant documentary called MAKING WAVES – THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND which I became aware of when she ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign to finish the film. The film premiered at the Tribeca film festival in 2019 and also ran at the Munich Film Festival, at Cannes, and other film festivals.

MAKING WAVES discusses the history and the art of sound design and features interviews with filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Ryan Coogler or Barbra Streisand – but more to the point, it features dozens of interviews with excellent sound artists like Ben Burtt, Walter Murch, Gary Rydstrom, Anna Behlmer, Ai-Ling Lee, Cecilia Hall, and many others, taking an in-depth look at scenes from movies like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, STAR WARS or APOCALYPSE NOW, and many others.

Midge Costin with legendary sound designer Walter Murch.

I first contacted Midge because I was writing an article on the documentary for the German trade magazine Film & TV Kamera (a shortened version can be found online here). In our interview, Midge not only discusses the importance of good sound design and the individual creative roles of the sound artists – she also explains why it took the team nine years to finish the film, why there is a strong focus on the New Hollywood era, and she discusses the sound design of the documentary itself. You can learn more about the movie at

So here’s Talking Pictures with Midge Costin!

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.

All photos (C) Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet/Dogwoof.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.

Christian Genzel works as a filmmaker and journalist. He has written and directed the psychological thriller DIE MUSE/The Muse plus several music videos and short films. His mystery short CINEMA DELL' OSCURITÀ was nominated for the 13th Street Shocking Short Award in 2017. He is currently working on a documentary on cult filmmaker Howard Ziehm called FINDING PLANET PORNO. As a journalist, Genzel has been published in/at Film & TV Kamera, Celluloid, 35 Millimeter, GameStar, Neon Zombie, and the All-Music Guide. He has conducted in-depth interviews with numerous filmmakers, musicians, game designers, and others.