Apple Shares Star Wars Day 'Behind the Mac' Film

In celebration of Star Wars Day, Apple today shared a "Behind the Mac" film featuring Skywalker Sound, the sound effects division of Lucasfilm known for films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones.


Skywalker Sound uses 130 Mac Pro racks, 50 iMac, 50 MacBook Pro, and 50 Mac mini computers running Pro Tools, all of which remotely connect to a central machine room. The studio also uses a fleet of iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV devices to aid its production process. Staff at the ranch even emphasized the role of older equipment such as the Apple PowerBook.

Ben Burtt, the sound designer of the original Star Wars trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the Indiana Jones franchise, said that his journey started with a Macintosh SE, and urged young people who want to work with sounds in movies to begin building a sound effects collection using "inexpensive applications that you can have access to now on your ‌iPad‌ or your MacBook, that you can actually do all kinds of cutting and sound-mixing at home."

Sound editor and sound designer Al Nelson said that ‌iPhone‌ recordings are "perfectly useable" in a professional context. Seven-time Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom explained:

You can tell a lot of the story with sound in a way that is less expensive than visuals, usually, and sometimes more emotionally powerful. If you're interested in sound or filmmaking, you can record 4K+ video on your iPhone. There's no excuse. The stuff that's part of our day-to-day lives is the same stuff you need to record sound and make movies. That's the real revolution. Ultimately, it will democratize the whole process.

See Apple's full press release for more information about how Skywalker Sound creates its iconic, cinematic soundscapes.

On Monday, May 9, 2022, Apple will host a unique online Today at Apple session with Skywalker Sound's Leff Lefferts and Apple Music's Eddie Francis, featuring footage from Skywalker Ranch and the opportunity to learn from an Apple Creative Pro how to make vocal effects for a character using their voice, everyday objects, and GarageBand. Participants can sign up at apple.co/skywalker-sound.

Top Rated Comments

heystu Avatar
3 weeks ago
Well that was FREAKIN' AWESOME! Have so much respect and appreciation for sound designers after watching this video, especially liked the quote at the very end - "If you do your job right, no one will ever know..."
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think creative Avatar
3 weeks ago

Unlike fangirl in the beginning of the video who thinks it's funny to resuse sound effects she likes, which anyone will tell you is a bad idea and breaks audience immersion.
Maybe This week of all weeks don’t make glib sexist remarks about a pro who’s at the top of her field? I love her enthusiasm, and I’ve watched both Mando and TLJ a ton and never noticed that sound until she pointed it out. It’s a sound Easter egg really, and pretty cool. Like the very famous scream that’s reused constantly. It doesn’t break the immersion, just adds another layer of flavor.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jared Strike Avatar
3 weeks ago
And to think, people say Apple computers are not used in big-budget Hollywood film productions.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwright1974 Avatar
3 weeks ago

Maybe This week of all weeks don’t make glib sexist remarks about a pro who’s at the top of her field? I love her enthusiasm, and I’ve watched both Mando and TLJ a ton and never noticed that sound until she pointed it out. It’s a sound Easter egg really, and pretty cool. Like the very famous scream that’s reused constantly. It doesn’t break the immersion, just adds another layer of flavor.
This. I would love to get as much out of my job as she does.

This video was great, and she was the shining star (sorry for all the shes, I can’t remember her name).

- D
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
3 weeks ago
This is a fantastic short film! Loved watching and listening to it.

The enthusiasm of the sound engineers & designers is luminous.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
3 weeks ago
Definitely watching this tonight. Looks really interesting.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Teases Star Wars-Themed 'Behind the Mac' Film Featuring Skywalker Sound

Friday April 29, 2022 6:22 pm PDT by
Apple today released a brief teaser trailer for an upcoming "Behind the Mac" film featuring Skywalker Sound, the sound effects division of Lucasfilm known for the Star Wars franchise and many other high-profile movies. The full film will be released on Apple's YouTube channel on May 4, Star Wars Day, and will examine how artists at Skywalker Sound use Macs and other tools to generate the...
mac studio ports

Mac Studio Owners Complain of Irritating High-Pitched Noise

Thursday April 28, 2022 9:34 am PDT by
Some Mac Studio owners have noticed that their machines are making a high-pitched "whining" sound that appears to be coming from the fan. There are pages of complaints on the MacRumors forums about the issue, and it seems to be affecting a number of users. Most of the complaints are coming from Mac Studio owners who opted for the M1 Max Mac Studio rather than the Ultra version, which is not...
telegram custom alert sounds

Telegram Update Adds Custom Notification Sounds and New Chat Muting Options

Tuesday April 19, 2022 2:29 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has released a new update for iPhone and iPad that lets users set a custom sound for notifications, in addition to a number of other new features. Following the update, custom alert tones can be created in the app from short audio files and voice messages that are under five seconds and up to 300KB in size. Multiple custom alerts can be created and assigned to...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Pink

Harrison Ford to Star in Upcoming Apple TV+ Series 'Shrinking' Alongside Jason Segel

Monday April 4, 2022 3:36 pm PDT by
Actor Harrison Ford has signed on to star in upcoming Apple TV+ series "Shrinking," which comes from actor Jason Segel, "Ted Lasso" co-creator Bill Lawrence, and "Ted Lasso" star and writer Brett Goldstein, who plays Roy Kent on the series. Ford will star alongside Jason Segel, who has a main role in the show. The 10-episode comedy series will see Segel playing a grieving therapist who...
Apple Accessibility OS features 2022

Apple Previews New Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, and Live Captions Accessibility Features

Tuesday May 17, 2022 5:42 am PDT by
Apple today previewed a range of new accessibility features, including Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, Live Captions, and more. Door Detection will allow individuals who are blind or have low vision to use their iPhone or iPad to locate a door upon arriving at a new destination, understand how far they are from it, and describe the door's attributes, including how it can be opened and ...
Mac Studio Display Feature Pink

Mysterious Noise Sparks Mac Studio Complaints

Monday May 9, 2022 2:09 am PDT by
Some Mac Studio owners have noticed that their new machines are making a mysterious high-pitched "whining" noise that appears to be coming from the fan, prompting complaints online. There are pages of complaints on the MacRumors forums about a noise issue with the Mac Studio, suggesting it seems to be affecting at least a moderate number of users. The Mac Studio features a sizeable...
maxresdefault

'The Essex Serpent' With Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston Coming to Apple TV+ on May 13

Tuesday April 26, 2022 4:02 pm PDT by
Apple today shared the first trailer for upcoming Apple TV+ series "The Essex Serpent," which stars Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston. The show is set in Victorian England, and Danes will play London widow Cora Seaborne, who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical sea serpent. She forms a bond of science and skepticism with the local pastor, played by Hiddleston, but when tragedy...
idris elba hijack

Idris Elba Thriller 'Hijack' Coming to Apple TV+

Thursday April 21, 2022 4:16 pm PDT by
Apple has picked up a seven-part thriller that's set to star actor Idris Elba, the company announced today. Called "Hijack," the upcoming Apple TV+ show will follow a hijacked plane that makes its way to London. Elba is set to star as Sam Nelson, an accomplished negotiator in the business world who needs to step up and use his skills to try to save the lives of the passengers on the plane,...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...