Pro Sound Effects Blog

Storytelling with sound effects – with Mark Mangini & Richard L. Anderson

Learn how renowned feature film sound artists approach the creative use of sound effects as a narrative tool.

Sound is half of the movie experience. Directors including George Lucas and David Lynch have said so themselves. And if you’re reading the Pro Sound Effects blog, I’m likely preaching to the choir.

But what does that really mean in practice? How does the soundtrack become more than just what you hear accompanying the picture?
We sat down with Academy Award®-winning sound editors Mark Mangini (Blade Runner 2049, Mad Max: Fury Road) and Richard L. Anderson (Being John Malkovich, Edward Scissorhands) to discuss how they use sound effects to tell stories. Discover how storytelling extends from their sound philosophies and into their film projects – including a time the narrative use of sound went so far as to creep out Tim Burton…

Watch the video above, and see below for sharable quotes from Mangini and Anderson.

Storytelling has been a pillar of our efforts during the development of Mangini and Anderson’s personal sound library into intuitive, accessible general libraries for sound artists everywhere. These world-class sound effects have been imbued with narrative purpose from the moment they were captured all the way through editing, cataloging, and showing up as results in your keyword searches.

Sound libraries from The Odyssey Collection are available now to boost your projects with award-winning quality.

Create beyond your imagination with The Odyssey Collection.




Mark Mangini:
“The role of sound is really exactly what the role of every other aspect of filmmaking is, and that is to tell stories.”
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“I use sounds to help create a storytelling environment in ways that words can't tell.”
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“Much in the way an actor discovers their character arc, I think there's a sound arc in a film.”
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“You don't see it, but you hear the jingling keys and you think...he's nervous. What have we just said about the story with a simple sound effect?”
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Richard L. Anderson:
“I think we've done a good job when you don't realize that we've done a good job.”
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“We're kind of like magicians. If you know how the magician did the trick, then it takes away from it...That's part of the mystery, and we don't want you to know how we did it.”
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“We want to be able to amaze you and make you think that you're in space; a spaceship that is really just a set back on the Universal lot.”
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Richard L Anderson Storytelling