Sound Designer and Supervisor Jonah Guelzo has produced an interesting Behind-The-Scenes interview series with Filmmaking Industry Professionals, covering all aspects of Filmmaking from sound, to picture and editing.
In this episode, Jonah speaks with Sound Designer Harry Cohen (The Mask, Django Unchained, Star Trek, Prometheus) about using sound design to keep audiences entranced by rich, sonic tapestries.
In college, Cohen studied computer science, Harry explains...
Mostly, I spent time banging around with different bands as a keyboard player though. I suppose you could call familiarity with synths and samplers kind of an education for what I am doing now. I backed into sound design by accident. I was doing some piano overdubs at a studio in Burbank that was just getting into post production; the guys there asked me if I was interested in doing sound effects for a film, and I said yes. My early career rose with that facility and allowed me to meet directors, film company people, and other editors and designers in the post production world. Eventually, I accepted an offer to migrate to Soundelux
At Soundelux, he frequently partnered with supervising sound editor Wylie Stateman. Along with his many nominations, he won a Golden Reel Award in 1999 for A Texas Funeral. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award nomination for the series The Others. He has frequently collaborated with director Quentin Tarantino, including on the films The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2. He has also worked alongside directors Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Rob Marshall, Edward Zwick, Roland Emmerich and Paul Verhoeven, among many others. His most recent project was Deepwater Horizon for director Peter Berg.
Sometimes, looking back, I see creative sound design moments as being more like a place you might visit, as opposed to a method you might use over and over. Time has shown me that the tools will constantly change around me. My main editing platform has changed three times during the course of my career. And so, some great tools become obsolete or unavailable. For this reason, I always encourage designers, when they find their way to an interesting combination of source/processing, to keep going and record lots of material; the next occasion you may want to repeat the process might not be so easy to get back to!
The MPSE Career Achievement Award recognises sound artists who have distinguished themselves by meritorious works as both an individual and fellow contributor to the art of sound for feature film, television and gaming and for setting an example of excellence for others to follow. Cohen joins a distinguished list of sound innovators, including 2016 Career Achievement Recipient Richard King, Skip Lievsay, Randy Thom, Larry Singer, Walter Murch and George Watters II. Harry said...
I am surprised and honored to by recognized by the friends and colleagues in the MPSE. Sound editors work under the radar and are largely invisible to the public, but those of us who practice the craft know how hard it is to produce a great soundtrack.
Jonah Guelzo is a professional Sound Designer, who's worked on major motion pictures, television, and high-end commercials. From working alongside Peter Berg on the sound design for HBO's Leftovers, to recording the vehicles in Fast and Furious 7, and high-end commercial short films for Lamborghini, Jonah is well versed in knowing how to make an impact on screen.