"Game of Thrones," HBO's Emmy-winning drama, starts a new season Sunday. If you've seen it, you're familiar with the sounds of dragons, wights and of general mayhem. All of those sounds (everything but the music) are overseen by a CU-Denver graduate. Tim Kimmel is supervising sound editor for the show. He won the Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series last season. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner ahead of the season premier.
5 “Game of Thrones” sound design facts you probably didn't know:
1. At first, Kimmel thought the undead Wights characters shouldn’t make a sound because their vocal cords would have decomposed. "But on the screen, that just doesn’t have much of an impact," Kimmel says.
2. Kimmel and his 8-year-old son make vocal cameos. “I was recording some of the stuff at home and he started impersonating me and I said ‘Come here. Let’s make you a monster.’” (Kimmel points out that his son is too young to watch, however).
3. Kimmel says most people don’t recognize all the sound they hear. “Say it’s [a scene] on the deck of a ship, we have layers of sounds… be it the water against the boat, the wind, the flapping of the sails, the movement of the guys on the deck, the movement of the gear of the guys on deck, the voices of the guys on the deck. There’s probably 30 or 40 sounds.”
4. Kimmel carries a microphone with him just about everywhere he goes in case he runs across a sound that would work for the show. “My sound effects library is an ever-growing thing."
5. To create the sounds of fictional creatures, such as dragons, Kimmel has used recordings of real-life animals, like buffalo... “their labored breath, other vocals they were making.”