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How Peter Jackson’s team created the Oscar-nominated soundscape of ‘Smaug’


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was just nominated for two Oscars relating to its sound design — its up against some tough competition in the form of Gravity and a number of other excellent films, but a new mini-documentary from the SoundWorks makes a good case for Peter Jacksons latest adventure into Middle-earth. The video contains interviews with a number of sound mixers at Park Road Post Studios in Wellington, New Zealand who walk you through all aspects of the movies audio track, including dialogue, mixing, music, and making each environment sound right. One of the films highlights is undoubtably Bilbo and the dwarves encounter with the titular dragon in the dwarf kingdom of Erebor, and the sound designers looked at that as a particular moment to shine — everything down to the sound of the air to how both quiet and loud the cavernous environment could get was taken into account, with Smaug of course being a significant part of the challenge. Smaug is all about Benedict Cumberbatchs voice, but in addition to that, he is a creature — he is a growling, rumbling, fire-breathing dragon, says sound re-recording mixer Christopher Boyes.

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