The Sound Design of Interstellar

Vimeo / Michael Coleman
Vimeo / Michael Coleman / Vimeo / Michael Coleman

When I saw Interstellar last weekend at an IMAX theater, I thought the sound system was mis-calibrated. The subwoofers were so strong that my seat vibrated for minutes on end, sections of dialogue were inaudible, and at times the raging sound was so loud I had to plug my ears. It was a sonic assault. Having said that, it was a hell of a ride, and it left me wondering—how much of that was intentional? The cockpit dialogue being muffled by roaring rockets seemed like a choice. The violence of certain very loud sounds in space (ahem, Matt Damon in the rear left channel...) seemed like a choice. So it's not completely surprising that, apparently, it was all intentional. The IMAX sound system is so powerful that Christopher Nolan and his team decided to use it to sock the audience in the gut. And, you know what, it worked!

Here's an eight-minute video going deep on the sound design of the movie. Note that this does have some mild spoilers about the movie, so I'd advise not watching it if you intend to see Interstellar.

SoundWorks Collection - The Sound of Interstellar from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

If you like movie sound, check out Creating the Lightsaber Sound; Recording Explosions for Star Wars; and Explaining Hollywood's Most Famous Noises.