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.