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Having fun filming live action


Getting the sound score right
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Oh the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound. Generally what I do when something is finished, I call some of my three friends and I say, 'I have a film for you'. I don't tell them anything, what they should do, or should not do. I trust them implicitly, they've done films for me and in general, 98% of time that I get back, will be 100%. I also had composers where the film came back with the sound and just didn't work. Absolutely just didn't work. And then, all I can do, apologize, 'I'm sorry, but I can't use this stuff', you know? I generally pay at least 50% for them to even doing as much work on it as they needed. And then I give them some money, you know? In other words, I don't run away from them. But… but in general, I don't want to do anything about music unless I'm very specific what I want. In other words, what I want… I want him to give me something. Like what they did on Landscape... no the dog running... Accident. I just… I just told them, 'Just do whatever you want to do'. I didn't tell them anything because I was hoping, I always hope when I give it to one of the composers, that they do something that I would never think of. Because in Accident I had something about dogs running and barking, you know, woof, woof, you know? But no... there was a sound there, there was terrific sound score. I never, never could have think of that, no. And so I like to, if I have two or three composers, I give the film and I say, 'Just run with it'. And in that case, because I know their work. In that case, I mean, nine out of ten, it will be 100%. But I don't like to think about it but at the same time, I want it to be right but without me… to tell him what he should be doing. No, don't tell him what he should be doing, let him do what he wants to do and then bring it to you and you say, yes or no. But if you're that anxious that you have to… you must do that, that I think is wrong. No, let him do his part of that, you know? Don't be such an ass. Don't be an ass, you know?

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tags: Accident, Landscape

Duration: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008