The first film in the Lionsgate horror film franchise, The Blair Witch Project, was one of the most successful independent films of all time. Shot in the found footage style (and arguably the archetype of the found footage horror genre), it thrust audiences into the immediate plight of the characters and did for the woods what Jaws did for the ocean.
For this new iteration, director Adam Wingard worked with Supervising Sound Editor, Designer, and Re-recording Andy Hay to create a realistic and terrifying soundscape. According to Hay, “As a found footage film it’s important that the sound feels honest and real.” Hay and his team of re-recording mixer Greg Townsend, sound designer Jeff Pitts, FX editor Dan Kremer, dialog editor Jesse Pomeroy, and Foley supervisor Geordy Sincavage, worked with Wingard at the Technicolor at Paramount sound facility.
Hay discusses the project below with Technicolor.com.
Technicolor.com: What was the overall approach to the sound of Blair Witch?
Hay: “Our location mixer captured some of the cleanest sounding ISO tracks I’ve ever heard, which afforded me great flexibility in the mix. The challenge became about finding ways to dirty up those tracks and give them the correct perspective to match what was happening on screen. There’s a lot of eq, futzbox, limiting and verbs used, and over 1000 mic bumps, rustles and pops edited in to mimic how camera mics used on screen might actually behave. We knew that we wanted to respect and pay tribute to the first Blair Witch movie in our approach and spirit, but ultimately push the envelope as far as we could sonically as the film progresses. The mix begins with each camera perspective having its own sonic identity with panned dialog and a very natural realistic approach that slowly morphs into a no-holds-barred sonic onslaught.”
Watch the terrifying Blair Witch trailer below and see it in a theater near you!