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Encyclopedia > Ben Burtt

Ben Burtt (born July 12, 1948 in Syracuse, New York) is the archetypal sound designer (a term he invented) and sound editor for many famous and noteworthy films, as well as directing an Oscar-nominated documentary. He has been awarded two Oscars in the Best Sound Editing category for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (the 1982 award) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) as well as two Special Achievement Awards for his sound editing in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). He has also been nominated for many other Oscars: for both Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing in 1983 for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Best Sound Effects Editing in 1988 for Willow, Best Sound in 1989 for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Best Documentary Short Subject in 1996 for directing Special Effects: Anything Can Happen and Best Sound Effects Editing again in 1999 for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Burtt's most memorable work includes the "voice" of robot R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, as well as various sound effects like the lightsaber and the speederbike chase sounds from Return of the Jedi. He also worked on the sound effects in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: The Salt City Location of Syracuse within the state of New York Coordinates: City Government  - Mayor Matthew Driscoll Area  - City 66. ... NY redirects here. ... This is an article about the film crew member known as a sound designer. ... A neologism (Greek νεολογισμός [neologismos], from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... This is a list of films that have won or been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects (1963-1967, 1975), Sound Effects Editing (1977, 1981-1999), or Sound Editing (1979, 2000-present). ... E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace and Peter Coyote. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Julian Glover, Alison Doody, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... The Special Achievement Award is an Academy Award given for an achievement which makes an exceptional contribution to the motion picture for which it was created, but for which there is no annual award category. ... This movie poster for Star Wars depicts many of the films important elements, such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, X-Wing and Y-Wing fighters Star Wars, retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981 (see note at Title,) is the original (and in chronological... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Raiders of the Lost Ark, also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, is a 1981 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford. ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... The Academy Award for Sound Mixing is an Academy Award that recognizes the finest or most aesthetic sound mixing or recording, and is generally awarded to the production sound mixers and re-recording mixers of the winning film. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a science fiction film that debuted in 1983, and re-released with changes in 1997 and 2004. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... Willow is a 1988 fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, based on a story by George Lucas. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Julian Glover, Alison Doody, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies. ... This is a list of films that have received an Oscar and nomination for best documentary short subject. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar). ... Film poster for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 film by George Lucas starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Jake Lloyd. ... R2-D2 (called R2, or Artoo for short), is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... The lightsaber is the name of a weapon that plays a key role in the movies, games and novels that constitute the Star Wars universe. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a science fiction film that debuted in 1983, and re-released with changes in 1997 and 2004. ... Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction film based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. ...


Burtt earned a college degree in Physics from Allegheny College. In 1970, he won the National Student Film Festival with a war movie called Yankee Squadron. For his work on the special effects film Genesis he won a scholarship to the University of Southern California, where he earned a Master's Degree in Film Production. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Allegheny College is a private liberal arts college located in northwestern Pennsylvania which prides itself as being one of the oldest colleges in the United States. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... A war film is any film dealing with war, usually focusing on naval, air, or land battle, but sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, training, or other related subjects. ... Eddie August Schneider of the Yankee Squadron in The New York Times on January 16, 1937 Americans who piloted military aircraft against Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. ... The Trojan Shrine, better known as Tommy Trojan located in the center of University of Southern California campus. ... Film production on location in Newark, New Jersey. ...


Burtt pioneered modern sound design, especially in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Before his work in Star Wars, science fiction movies tended to use electronic-sounding effects for futuristic devices. Burtt sought a more natural sound, blending and "found sounds" to create the effects. The lightsaber hum, for instance, was derived from a film projector idling combined with feedback from a broken television set, and the blaster effect started with the sound acquired from hitting a guy wire on a radio tower with a wrench. Burtt has also used a recording of his wife, who at the time was suffering from a minor cold and was sleeping in bed, for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.


Burtt has a reputation for including a sound effect dubbed "The Wilhelm scream" in many of the movies he's worked on. Taken from a character named "Wilhelm" in the film The Charge at Feather River, the sound can be heard in countless films: for instance, in Star Wars when a stormtrooper falls into a chasm and in Raiders of the Lost Ark when a Nazi soldier falls from a moving car. The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the movie Distant Drums. ... The Charge at Feather River is a 1953 Western film directed by Gordon Douglas. ... Stormtroopers have distinctive white armor and a helmet with a grimacing, skull-like visage. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


Few people realize that Burtt makes appearances in two of the Star Wars films as an extra. He appeared as Colonel Dyer in Return of the Jedi (the Imperial officer who yells "Freeze" before Han Solo knocks him off a balcony) and in The Phantom Menace as Ebenn Q3 Baobab (appears in the background near the end when Padme Amidala congratulates Palpatine). He is also personally responsible for some of the sounds heard in the movies: part of R2-D2's beeps and whistles are Burtt's vocalizations, as are some of the squawks made by the tiny holographic monsters on the Millennium Falcon, and in Revenge of the Sith he provides the voice for Invisible Hand captain Lushros Dofine. Burtt is set to electronically voice the title character in Pixar's 2008 film, WALL-E, about a lonely garbage pickup robot. Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a science fiction film that debuted in 1983, and re-released with changes in 1997 and 2004. ... Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... Film poster for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 film by George Lucas starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Jake Lloyd. ... Padmé Naberrie Skywalker, also Her Royal Highness, Queen Amidala of the Naboo and later Senator Amidala of Naboo (46 - 19 BBY), is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe played by Natalie Portman. ... Palpatine is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... This article is about the photographic technique. ... The Millennium Falcon is a fictional spacecraft in the Star Wars universe commanded by smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his Wookiee firstmate, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). ... T.F.C. The Invisible Hand Engines of The Invisible Hand See also Adam Smiths concept of the Invisible hand. The Trade Federation Cruiser is a fictional spaceship which first appeared in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. ... The following is a list of fictional Star Wars characters from Separatist-affiliated factions, including the Corporate Alliance, Trade Federation, and the Techno Union. ... Pixars studio lot in Emeryville Pixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation studio based in Emeryville, California (USA) notable for its seven Academy Awards. ... WALL-E is a CGI animated feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and is going to be released by Walt Disney Pictures. ...


Burtt was awarded the Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, by Allegheny College on May 9, 2004. The Doctor of Arts (D.A., or occasionally D.Arts. ... Honoris causa (plural: Causae) is a Latin term meaning for the sake of honor, abbreviated as . ... Allegheny College is a private liberal arts college located in northwestern Pennsylvania which prides itself as being one of the oldest colleges in the United States. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Star Wars: Biography | Ben Burtt (399 words)
It was Ben Burtt's sound design work -- creating the voice of R2-D2, the hum and crash of lightsabers in battle, and the zooming rush of the speeder bike chase -- that gave the original Star Wars its convincing feel of audio reality.
Burtt has been in the film business for over 23 years as a sound designer, mixer, editor, writer, and director.
Burtt has also done sound design for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Always, Willow, Alien, More American Graffiti, Howard the Duck, The Dark Crystal, Nutcracker the Motion Picture, The Dream is Alive, Alamo, and Niagara.
Ben Burtt - Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki - A Wikia wiki (307 words)
Ben Burtt (born July 12, 1948) was the sound designer for the Star Wars films, and others made by Lucasfilm Limited with subsidiary Skywalker Sound.
Burtt has a reputation for including a sound effect dubbed the "Wilhelm scream" in many of the movies he's worked on.
Burtt was also heavily involved in writing the animated series Star Wars: Droids, to which the prequel trilogy makes many references.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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