I caught “The Avengers” for a second time earlier this week. It’s still a barrel of fun but don’t try to think about that script too much. It shatters under modest consideration. And I felt the length a bit more this time around. Nevertheless, I still love the movie.
Something I was paying particular attention to this time, though, was the sound elements. The only Marvel Studios film to grab a nomination in the sound categories so far was “Iron Man,” which got in for Best Sound Editing in 2008. But with Oscar-winners like Christopher Boyes and Lora Hirschberg on board, I wonder if the team-up actioner can find its way to one or both fields this year.
For a film as busy visually as this one is, it’s a big accomplishment that it’s so delicately balanced aurally, yet so dynamic on the editorial side of things. Boyes, who was interviewed for the SoundWork’s Collection’s latest sound profile on the film, worked on the “Iron Man” films, so he had some things in place for “The Avengers.” And naturally he brought in elements provided by the teams of Richard King (“Thor”) and Stephen Hunter Flick (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) to “honor the original signature sounds, which was Marvel’s desire,” he says.
However, The Incredible Hulk was developed sonically from the ground up, and director Joss Whedon had specific, story-driven notes for what that sound should be.
“Initially for Hulk, I started using all sorts of animal vocals and tried to create this larger-than-life, territorial rage,” Boyes says int he clip below. “And so the feedback coming back from Joss was that it was too much of a monster, too much of a creature. He really wanted to lead with the notion that this is a superhuman, but human in rage.”
The ultimate mixture included a little bit of Mark Ruffalo, a little bit of Boyes and some other scattered human elements, but one of them, intriguingly enough, was Lou Ferrigno. Ferrigno really “got” the Hulk, Boyes says, so it’s fun that he gets to live on in this embodiment of the character.
Check out the profile for yourself below. For film nuts, as always, it’s vital, informative and just plain fascinating. Keep listening.