Thundercats Episode 11: A Little Help From My Friends

For some sound demands, you just gotta call on foley for help.

What do you do when you are faced with adding sound to a group of warriors armored in paper, fighting with paper, living in a castle… made of paper? This is one of those episodes I would call ‘high concept.’ Obvoiusly, the driving force is the paper and so our sound design has to reflect that by putting the sounds of all the paper elements first and foremost.

Here’s the problem… paper is tough! As sound editors, certain challenges pop up and we face them head on with sounds from our library or custom recordings. But paper is one of those things that can all too easily sound repetitive if it’s not walked directly to picture on a foley stage. It needs the randomness to sound natural. Luckily, I knew just the guys for the job!

Foley walker Alex Ullrich and Foley mixer John Sanacore were kind enough to spare some time on the foley stage for our dilemma. These guys are the Award winning team that did all of the foley for The Hurt Locker so of course, Thundercats was in good hands! I went ahead and made a wish list:

  • paper armor movements
  • rapid paper flapping
  • large paper movements (for the dragon)
  • stacks of paper falling (for the castle)
  • oragami paper folding

Of course, they did an amazing job and now the guys are kind enough to let me share some of their work with you.

This first clip is two different performances of paper flapping. The first, slightly bigger, was used to sweeten up the character ‘Snips’ windmills. The second gave the wings of our main Wood Forger some texture as he is flying in the final showdown.

“Paper Flapping”
iPhone or iPad? click here

These next paper records are a few of the sounds we used to sweeten up the large paper dragon.

“Large Paper Movements”
iPhone or iPad? click here

Next up are some ‘performance’ pieces which are various paper movements, all done live to sweeten up some more complex sequences. The first half would be the scene where ‘Gami’ is spinning around her magic paper and then folding it up. The back half is our lead Wood Forger’s wings unfolding. The texture they got out of these performances is fantastic! This is what I’m talking about when I say editing library sounds simply won’t cut it.

“Paper Performances”
iPhone or iPad? click here

Finally, as a one off, I also requested Snips’ scissors to see if we could get something unique from the stage and the sound turned out so cool, I just had to include it here.

“Snips’ Scissors”
iPhone or iPad? click here

All in, this episode shines because of John and Alex’s hundreds of clips recorded to picture… effectively sweetening the entire episode. And would you believe, Alex said he didn’t even get one paper cut!?!

As always, thanks for listening for what sounds like Jeff.

Creative Toolkit:

  • 2 talented foley virtuosos
  • stacks and stacks of paper

This week’s image come from the Official Thundercats Facebook Page.


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