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Steven Spielberg

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 makingwavesmovie.com.

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.

Talking Pictures #7: John Orloff, Screenwriter of ANONYMOUS

Today’s guest is John Orloff, the screenwriter of Roland Emmerich’s ANONYMOUS – a complex and fascinating historical drama about the theory that William Shakespeare may not be the author of the works of William Shakespeare. Instead, the movie claims that the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, wrote famous plays like HAMLET and ROMEO AND JULIET, and that through complex political scheming he wasn’t able to receive credit for them, but instead a hapless young actor, William Shakespeare, served as a front for him.

In our interview, John discusses the long process of developing the script, which began with a completely different take on Shakespeare. He talks about his collaboration with Roland Emmerich, which added many new elements to the story, and about the intricate structure of the film, which Orloff himself says may be a little bit too complicated. He discusses the angry reactions and reviews the movie received, and he talks about why he believes that Shakespeare isn’t the author of the plays – and why discussing the authorship issue is a worthwhile debate.

John also discusses some of the other projects he’s worked on, like the BAND OF BROTHERS miniseries which was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, and he talks about some of the guiding themes of his work.

The interview was done in connection with our Lichtspielplatz podcast on ANONYMOUS, so if you speak German, check out episode #40 of our Lichtspielplatz podcast with an in-depth discussion of the film and its themes.

So here’s Talking Pictures with screenwriter John Orloff!

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.
The Talking Pictures podcast can be found on iTunes: HERE.

All photos (C) John Orloff.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.

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