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89th Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: Sound Editing

CATEGORY: Sound Editing
SPEECH BY: Sylvain Bellemare



Q. [Speaks in French.]
A. [Speaks in French.]

Q. [Speaks in French.] 
A. [Speaks in French.]  I just want to say that it's an enormous emotion.  I am still over there somewhere in the space.  I'm not actually right down right now, so I'm gonna coming back soon.  I just want to say this is by far a collective prize made by a lot of people from different countries, and I'm really not alone.  There's a lot of people behind that, and I'm just ‑‑ represent them basically.  So, yeah, I feel like that.

Q. [Speaks in French.] 
A. Yes.  Unfortunately, the ‑‑ Claude and Bernard didn't get the prize, but it's like that you know.  And I'm ‑‑ we're all happy.  Claude and Bernard, I'm sure they're happy for the HACKSAW RIDGE team that got the mixing prizes. 

Q. Congratulations.  So, can you talk about how the material ‑‑ does the material influence your process at all when you have to incorporate or work with what are other‑worldly or previously nonexistent sounds for which there are no actual references in our day‑to‑day lives? 
A. It's interesting question, very complex question.  I don't think I will be ‑‑ give a good response.  But just say that sound is really at the level of creating something that does not exist, even in the naturalistic movies.  Sometimes you have to take that kind of reflection.  I think sound is one of the most abstract thing in ‑‑ for us.  You know, we are much better with our eyes than with our ears, and I think it's ‑‑ I know it's really ‑‑ it's a very, very complex question.  Very happy to hear that.  I think I will have a conversation with you after because it's so long.  I mean, it's ‑‑ I don't know what to say.  It's so complex.  It's coming from so different texture, from so different perception of emotions, so...

Q. Hi.  Yeah.  What impressed me most about the film was the atmosphere created both visually and, of course, with the sound.  And I was wondering if the short story which it was based on, which I believe is Chinese, inspired you at all?
A. Unfortunately, not.  I mean, it was the script, you know, of course, the short story changed a lot to the script.  And even the script, there's a lot of evolution to the shooting and the final.  So ARRIVAL is a very long process from the first story to the end that changed a lot.  And I ‑‑ the first influence about that was communication.  How can you ‑‑ how can you deal with communication, unbroken communication, complex communication?  And I thought the goal of what Denis wanted to say, and the science fiction, in a way, was a bit kind of sideline to the story sort of.  So...

Q. [Speaks in French.] 
A. [Speaks in French.]  I just want to say that Denis, that's why I'm right here right now is because of Denis Villeneuve.  If the sound is good in this film, it's because of Denis Villeneuve.  He is a filmmaker with so many level of talent, from so many details in movies.  He's a pure filmmaker like the old age.  I think strong cinematic cultures, and which is sometimes kind of disappears sometimes today.  And I think we have to celebrate also the fact that Denis did a school in Montreal in Quebec with the funding that we can have in Canada and Quebec about art film with Telefilm Canada, with Sedec, and I think we have to ‑‑ it's an auteur film, and I do art film.  Even here in Hollywood he's still in control of that, and I think we have to celebrate his talents, yes.



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