Soundelux’s Glenn T. Morgan Created the Sound for The Way

Bookmark and Share

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Supervising sound editor/sound designer Glenn T. Morgan of Soundelux created the sound elements for Emilio Estevez’s new film The Way. Written and directed by Estevez tells the story of an American doctor named Tom (played by Estevez’s father Martin Sheen) who travels to France to recover the body of his estranged son. Rather than return home Tom decides to complete a trek begun by his son through rural France and Spain along El Camino de Santiago a legendary road originally traveled by St. James. Along the way Tom’s trek transforms into a spiritual journey that profoundly affects his sense of family friends and the challenges of life. Because the film’s story is deeply personal and intimately connected to the small villages and rugged countryside that surrounds El Camino de Santiago Morgan was challenged to craft sound that was real and richly detailed. To accomplish that task Morgan relied heavily on production sound elements. “Although the film is not a documentary it has very much of a first person feel ” he explains. “It was very important to keep it raw and real. For that reason we tried to use as much production dialogue as possible—to resist the urge to reshoot dialogue and rather pay a lot of attention to how we cut things to bring out the words.” Morgan also devoted considerable time to research in order to bring authenticity to the sound effects taking care for example to choose bird sounds from species native to particular areas depicted in the film. Foley effects were recorded in outdoor environments similar to those in the film in order to capture the proper ambience. Loop groups were also recorded in a manner contrary to standard practice. While such talent groups typically speak English Morgan employed talent who were native speakers of French Spanish Basque and other European languages. “We wanted to give it an international flair so there is absolutely no English ” he says. “When they make international versions of this film they won’t need to dub the loop group—our group will live forever.” The Way is one of three current independent films where Morgan served as Supervising Sound Editor. The others are Circumstance which recently captured the Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and Warrior a gripping family tale of finding forgiveness. Morgan counts himself lucky to have an opportunity to contribute to such quality films. Regarding The Way he said he was deeply moved by the story a feeling shared by other members of the sound team. “It’s an amazing story—so touching and well done ” he says. “It was an honor to work on this film; a true labor of love.”