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If/When Aug 24, 2021

Technical Storytelling: Making Magic by Design

Show Contributors: Gary Rydstrom, Paul Thies


Gary Rydstrom, film director and sound designer with Skywalker Sound, has built a career of using innovation, imagination and technology to help bring to life some of the most beloved cinematic stories of the last forty years. On this episode of If/When, we discussed the lessons Gary has learned as an innovator, the role of playfulness in the creative process, and what keeps him motivated to continue delivering superior results.

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Gary Rydstrom

Gary Rydstrom is a film director and sound designer. For Pixar Animation Studios, he directed two shorts: the Oscar-nominated Lifted, and Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation. For Disney and Studio Ghibli, he directed the English-language versions of The Secret World of Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises. At Skywalker Sound, he has designed and mixed many films, including Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, A River Runs Through It, Toy Story, Quiz Show, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars: Episode I, Punch-Drunk Love, Finding Nemo, War Horse, and Bridge of Spies. He also wrote and directed the feature film, Strange Magic. He has won seven Academy Awards for Sound and Sound Editing, and Career Achievement Awards from both the Cinema Audio Society and Motion Picture Sound Editors. He is currently working on sound design for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Gary is a native of Elmhurst, Illinois, and a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema.