The Sound Of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

The latest SoundWorks Collection features the sound team of Director Ridley Scott’s latest science fiction film Prometheus.

The SoundWorks documentary features Supervising Sound Editors Mark Stoeckinger and Victor Ennis, Sound Re-recording Mixers Ron Bartlett and Doug Hemphill, Sound Designers Ann Scibelli and Alan Rankin, and Sound Effects Researcher Charlie Campagna.

If you haven’t seen Prometheus yet, here’s our haiku mini-review:

Terrible Screenplay
Spectacular Visuals
Damon Lindelof

23 thoughts on “The Sound Of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

    1. Apart from District 9, Moon, Children of Men, Star Trek etc… – if you are going to speak out of your arse can you no do it in public.

      1. I have to agree with Harry…Moon, Children of Men, Sunshine, the remake of Solaris even are exponentially better sci-fi movies than Prometheus. I feel like Prometheus just manipulated me into waiting for a sequel, instead of giving me the satisfaction of just watching a movie. Scott better get his game-face on for the sequel.

  1. amazing movie. go into it without any preconceived notions on what you think it will be like, and just enjoy one of the best sci fi movies of the past 15 years.

  2. I liked Prometheus a lot. I think Alien/Prometheus is my favorite original/sequel combination (better than Nightmare on Elm Street /Wes Craven’s New Nightmare). Here is my haiku summarizing the plot of Prometheus:

    If humans are songs
    played by God, can He delete
    His entire hard drive?

  3. I went to see this movie yesterday and I have anxiously waited for it since Ridley Scott started talking to backers for the project some two years ago. I had hyped it up to no end and I’m happy to say the wait was worth it. I thought the screenplay was great. The things about the script that were less good are cancelled out by those that were great, or excellent even. I think James Cameron should direct the next installment since that would be right up his alley.

  4. Yeah, nonsense. Sorry man, you run a great website but if you think thats a poor screenplay you should close synthopia and start writing movies, you’ll make a fortune.

    I’ve heard many people say “poor screenplay”, much to my surprise, but not one person could say what was poor about it. Just vague comments about it not really working. Remember how big a flop Blade Runner was because it didnt really work? We now know this was due to it being beyond the grasp of the general public at the time. I was fortunate enough to see it in 1982 when I was 11 and it blew the head of me. I didnt get it, but I was mesmerised. 30 years laster the world has caught up with BR.

    In the movie business the term ‘problems with the screenplay’ is generally used when you dont know how to constructively critisise or feel the need to critisise because it makes you sound smart. I’m not suggesting thats what your doing, and I now have to ask – is my love of the movie due to my ability to fully grasp the concepts within, and therefore be blown away whilst the rest of the world plays catch up? Or am I an easily pleased idiot who cant tell a good movie from a bad one? I’m now unsure.

    For me, a professional Director and sci-fi geek, I consider most sci-fis to be dressed up action movies or love stories/horrors, but I feel Prometheus is one of the small handful of great pure sci-fis of all time, up there with 2001, Blade Runner, Alien, Akira and Ghost in the Shell.

    I know from your posts you are an intelligent man, so I’d genuinely love to hear you expand on the ‘terrible screenplay comment’, or be forever someone who we lost a tiny bit of respect for on June 11th 2012 😉

    Still love the site though.

    1. I don’t run Synthopia, but I own a Kawai K1 II synthesizer and it’s really shit sounding piece of gear. The captain should have had a bigger role. The pilots were unnecessary characters and added nothing. The ship was too neat and tidy. The facehugger should have been smaller and a simpler lifeform in its stage of development. The geologist and biologist should have been impregnated and had their chests burst open and introduce added danger for the crew on their next visit. The return of the geologist in zombie form added little and I think an older actor should have played Peter Weyland.

      I’m going to see this masterpiece again tomorrow.

      1. I suspect all of your problems will be addressed in the Directors cut, except for the neat and tidy ship, which was built for the mission and therefore would be immaculate.

        I agree about Peter Weyland, should have cast a much older actor.

    2. >Remember how big a flop Blade Runner was because it didn’t really work? We now know this was due to it
      >being beyond the grasp of the general public at the time.

      This is due in large part to the theatrical version omitting the scene of Rick Deckard dreaming of a unicorn (yes, an android dreaming of an electric sheep!). Without that one scene the whole push of the movie falls apart. I am hoping that when I can watch a directors cut of Prometheus the missing subtitles for the phrase spoken in alien will prove to be a “rick deckard dream” moment, revealing a lot about the android’s motivations and shifting the focus of the film in some profound but subtle way.

      I admit there were gaping plot holes in Prometheus, like two guys getting lost who had just moments before laser mapped the entire structure, or having no reason for the android to put the gunk in the guy’s drink, or splitting what would have been one fantastically compelling character into two (the daughter and the android) for the sake of justifying an escape pod, and I could go on. But in the end it was a top notch movie even with the weak plot points.

      What was also refreshing for me is what was missing from Prometheus. Hollywood seems intent to bolt in dick jokes, howling jocks, bitchy women, reluctant heroes and unrealistic love relationships to every movie regardless of genre. While not completely absent, Prometheus managed to somehow escape a lot of these and it was refreshing to feel like the director was treating the audience as adults.

    3. I’d second xtopher’s take:

      “There were gaping plot holes in Prometheus…..But in the end it was a top notch movie even with the weak plot points.”

      Gaping plot holes like Shaw giving herself an emergency c-section (awesome scene) and then stumbling half-naked and blood-covered around the ship and nobody bothers to ask WTF is going on. Or the fact that a 90-lb woman isn’t significantly weakened by hosting a giant alien parasite and then getting an emergency c-section. Or that the rest of the crew didn’t want to toast Shaw after seeing what contamnation did to Holloway.

      Or Weyland doing a trillion dollar space mission and trusting his life to a crew – without bothering to have the crew actually train together or know what they were in for.

      For the Prometheus script to make any sense, you have to provide your own explanations for the characters’ actions. This is merely puzzling, where sci fi films like The Matrix, Blade Runner or Children of Men are though-provoking.

      Nevertheless, Prometheus is enjoyable as a visual spectacle.

  5. I think if a screenplay has stupid plot holes, you could call it a “poor screenplay”.

    Don’t want to post any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that….

  6. Everybody is talking about the movie and nobody talks about this SoundWorks Collection video.
    Personally I found the video (I mean the video not the movie itself) quite disappointing. I was expecting something about the sounds of Prometheus, but I only got a boring marketing video telling me to go and see the movie, with little detail about the sounddesign and score…

    1. Gotta admit, the screenplay for Prometheus was probably better than the script for ‘The Sound Of Prometheus”.

      Not the best SoundWorks profile we’ve seen.

  7. >Remember how big a flop Blade Runner was because it didn’t really work? We now know this was due to it

    Personally I still find Blade Runner to have a screenplay that is a lot less interesting than its visuals. Apart from a couple of nice dialogue parts (well basically just single statements of the caracters) the movie is just a plain hunter-and-prey movie with a little twist at the end and a long showdown. While the set design and special effects did an amazing work at creating a complex and detailed future world the story does not really work with it. Think about it, you can take the plot from Blade Runner and make a western or a fantasy movie out of it and it won’t change a lot…

  8. This is not true. The dream sequence is not responsible for Blade Runner being finally recognised as a classic, that had already happened BEFORE the Directors cut of 1991. I can remember the directors cut coming out and there was such excitement, not because a dissapointing film would now make more sense, but because a revered classic was going to get better. So your wrong there. In fact it was the VHS release in 1983, when Blade Runner was amongst a small handful of the first films ever released in that format, which meant that the whole world watched it because there was nothing else to watch. Thats when people woke up to it. The dream sequence was just the icing on the cake which came after years of build up and fan interest.

    Regarding your points:
    “like two guys getting lost who had just moments before laser mapped the entire structure,”. It was clearly demonstrated that the orbs transmitted information back to Prometheus, not these two guys, so the orbs were of no use to them, although you would think they might have had some sort of navigation device with them.

    “or having no reason for the android to put the gunk in the guy’s drink”. I think your wrong there. I think this is hugely significant and part of the complexity of the android. Was he curious? Was he programmed to do this? Ridley Scott addressed this recently in an interview and I think he said is was the Androids curiosity for the truth and his inability to feel compassion. He is a robot, he wanted to know what was in the liquid.

    “or splitting what would have been one fantastically compelling character into two (the daughter and the android) for the sake of justifying an escape pod”. Interesting point but then you loose the dynamic of the conflict between her and her father, dont you? That she essentially has no function other than to make sure the mission goes ahead, and she despises David for being more relevant to something so important to her Father.

    Regarding Kristofer Kristensens problems with it:

    “The captain should have had a bigger role.” You may find he did and it was cut down. The directors cut will reveal all. Or you may find that Idris Elba turned him into a character you wanted to spend more time with but on paper he had limited function.

    “The pilots were unnecessary characters and added nothing.” They were necessary. Who would fly the ship? “and added nothing”. Again, they had to be there. One man can fly a ship.

    “The ship was too neat and tidy.” It was brand new and it wasnt a space trucker ship like ‘Alien’, it was top of the range.

    “The facehugger should have been smaller and a simpler lifeform in its stage of development.” What stage of development? This wasnt the origin planet. The face hugger may have been several thousand years old already before it wiped out the engineers.

    “The geologist and biologist should have been impregnated and had their chests burst open and introduce added danger for the crew on their next visit.” Like in ‘Alien’? Why would Scott repeat himself? We’d all known it was going to happen. Thats just poor screenwriting and thats why it didnt happen.

    “The return of the geologist in zombie form added little”. Well I found myself wondering what had happened? Why was he like that? What other organic weapons were there? Isnt that the point of this film? That what they discover is so big that not all of it can be explained. Its not just about face huggers.

    “and I think an older actor should have played Peter Weyland.” Agreed.

  9. I saw Alien when it first went on general release. There were ‘dramatic’ parts that made me hoot with laughter – the ketchup squirted from off-stage in the monster birth scene was just so over-the-top. Nevertheless, an entertaining movie. I will settle down to immerse myself in the 3D and Dolby 7.1 and choose to ignore the plot holes. Or just wait until it’s on TV, one or the other.

    Nothing makes or breaks a movie like the soundtrack. Take “Sucker Punch”, for example.

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