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Gary Rydstrom

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Gary Rydstrom

Sound Designer

Cindy Rydstorm

Gary Rydstrom garyrydstromphotopng

Full Name
Gary Roger Rydstrom

June 29, 1959 (age 56) (
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Sound designerFilm director

Academy Award for Best Sound Editing

Academy Award for Best Short Film (Animated)

Strange Magic, Lifted, Hawaiian Vacation, Newt

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Sound designer and mixer gary rydstrom talks about cinema sound

Gary Roger Rydstrom (born June 29, 1959) is an American sound designer and director. He has been nominated for seventeen Academy Awards for his work in sound for movies, winning seven.


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Life and career

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Rydstrom was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1981. He began his career at Skywalker Sound, Northern California in 1983. Offered the job by a college professor, Gary received the opportunity to work with his mentor, Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt.

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After gaining invaluable experience as a sound technician in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he went on to do sound design for the comedy Spaceballs. The sound design for Backdraft, prepared from scratch, would become the precursor for his sound for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The original sound effects from Backdraft are constantly referenced and have been used for numerous other films including The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Shrek.

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Gary won an Academy Award for his work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, for which he pioneered techniques still used today for creating realistic sound effects. Rydstrom also worked with Terminator 2 director James Cameron on a new 5.1 surround mix for the original Terminator.

Gary's sound work on Jurassic Park led to further innovations, as he and his team set out to create dinosaur sounds by mixing together numerous different animal vocalizations to make the audience feel as though giant bellowing prehistoric beasts surrounded them. The Oscar-winning film was the first motion picture to be presented in DTS.

He subsequently went on to work on sound for numerous films including Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report and Finding Nemo. He won an MPSE lifetime achievement award, and regularly speaks at various sound design forums sharing his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring sound design artists.

He made his directorial debut with the Pixar short Lifted, for which he received his fourteenth Academy Award nomination. It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2006. His debut feature film for the studio, Newt, has been put on indefinite hold. He has also directed the Pixar short Hawaiian Vacation and the Lucasfilm animated feature Strange Magic.

Rydstrom has also served as English language director on Tales From Earthsea, Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, all four films were produced by Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli.

Awards and nominations

Gary Rydstrom has been nominated for 18 Academy Awards (7 wins), 12 Golden Reel Awards (5 wins), 5 C.A.S Awards (2 wins), and 5 BAFTA Awards (2 wins).


  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) audio technician
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) audio technician
  • Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) foley
  • Colors (1987) sound designer
  • Captain EO (1987) sound designer
  • Willow (1988) foley artist
  • Always (1989) re-recording mixer
  • Mars Navigator (1990) sound design/re-recording mixer (interactive video)
  • The Neon Empire (1991) re-recording mixer
  • F/X 2 (1991) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • Backdraft (1991) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Single White Female (1992) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Jurassic Park (1993) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • Baby's Day Out (1994) sound design/rerecording mixer
  • My Family (1995) sound designer (uncredited)
  • Toy Story (1995) sound design/rerecording mixer
  • Strange Days (1995) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • Mission: Impossible (1996) re-recording mixer
  • Titanic (1997) effects re-recording mixer, sound designer (uncredited in favor of Christopher Boyes)
  • A Bug's Life (1998) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) re-recording mixer
  • Toy Story 2 (1999) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • The Terminator (1984, 2000s DVD release) sound design consultant: audio restoration and re-mixing
  • 102 Dalmatians (2000) sound design consultant/re-recording mixer
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Finding Nemo (2003) sound designer/supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic (2003) sound designer
  • Hulk (2003) sound design/re-recording mixer
  • Peter Pan (2003) sound designer/supervising sound mixer
  • Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004) special thanks
  • Lifted (2006) director/writer/sound
  • Tales from Earthsea (2010) director/ADR director (English language version)
  • Hawaiian Vacation (2011) director, screenplay
  • Bully (2011) sound designer
  • Super 8 (2011) additional sound design
  • The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Sound Consultant
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • War Horse (2011) sound designer/supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer
  • From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) voice director
  • The Secret World of Arrietty (2012) director (American English language version)
  • Brave (2012) sound designer/re-recording mixer
  • Wreck-it Ralph (2012) sound designer, sound supervisor (uncredited)
  • From Up on Poppy Hill (2013) director (English language version)
  • The Wind Rises (2014) director (English language version)
  • The Face of Love (2014) Sound Consultant
  • Strange Magic (2015) director, screenplay
  • Jurassic World (2015) consulting sound designer
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) re-recording mixer
  • References

    Gary Rydstrom Wikipedia