March 29, 2017

The Zookeeper’s Wife Unleashes the Immersive Sounds of War

Multiple Oscar-nominated Technicolor team creates the experience of encroaching war solely through sound.

2016 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved. Credit: Anne Marie Fox / Focus Features


  • Director Niki Caro returns to Technicolor Sound to tell the incredible true story of The Zookeeper’s Wife.

In The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Technicolor Sound team created an immersive soundscape that puts viewers in the midst of an unseen invasion. In fact, through sound, an entire war was created without shots of warplanes passing above or bombs dropping from the sky.

“When you watch the film you are immersed in the sounds of war,” explained Technicolor sound re-recording mixer and ten-time Academy Award nominee Anna Behlmer. “Planes passing and diving overhead, the rumble of bombs being dropped and exploding from different locations and sounds of machine gun fire...”

Director Niki Caro, along with her longtime editor David Coulson, was excited about working again at the state-of-the-art Technicolor at Paramount Sound Facility in Los Angeles, having collaborated with Technicolor Sound before on McFarland, USA (2015).

“This is the most astonishing facility I think I’ve ever worked in,” Caro said about her experience. “The technology is stellar, but it’s the people who have their hands on the technology [who] approach the movie with such care and sensitivity, and creativity and subtlety. That fits extremely well into my whole worldview about filmmaking and the type of people I like to surround myself with to make work like this.”

The Technicolor team, working with Caro, was spearheaded by Behlmer and her mixing partner Terry Porter, along with supervising sound editor Becky Sullivan. Sullivan, a recent addition to the Technicolor Sound team, was Oscar-nominated for her work on Unbroken. Rounding out the team were re-recording mix technician Eric Flickinger, sound editor Sunny Warkentin, assistant sound editor Gayle Wesley, and music editor Sherry Whitfield.

Concludes Caro: “I think what most people don’t appreciate really is how much creativity comes to bear in the post-production process. The ability of these people in this facility to make this movie, any movie, so much better than I could ever imagine it could have been – it blows my mind every single time.”

Watch the official trailer for The Zookeeper’s Wife, a real-life WWII heroine portrayed by Jessica Chastain.



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