The Hollywood Reporter (Weekly) - The Hollywood Reporter Awards Special
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO
For Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller — in which Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) is transported to Soho in the swinging ’60s, where she follows a singer, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) — the director’s go-to supervising sound editor/designer and rerecording mixer, Julian Slater, aimed to create sounds that might come from 1965. “We desperately wanted the movie to sound like something distinctly and sonically relevant to that time period,” he explains. “We spent a lot of time shunning modernday plug-ins and effects units. There’s a lot of stuff happening with regard to using pieces of dialogue and sound effects and doing treatments that were done from records — a bit less so movies — of that era.” Another key priority was to convey Ellie’s emotional state.
Slater explains that the first 24 minutes of the movie were mixed in mono to reflect Ellie’s boredom with her life. “When we go into Soho for the first time, we open it up into expansive, immersive sound [mixed in Atmos],” he says. “It’s the ’60s that she really fantasizes about, and so that’s the thing that’s going to awaken her senses.” He adds that the first time she is transported to the 1960s, “everything is very dreamlike and very warm, but the more times she goes back and things get darker and darker, the sound design does the same thing. Voices start becoming de-tuned and the whole ambience starts to shift into a much darker tone. “As her journey goes deeper, the two worlds start inhabiting each other,” continues Slater. “You’ll have old-style police sirens in modern-day Soho, for example. And outside her apartment, at the beginning of the movie, you hear people drunkenly, but playfully, fighting with each other or having a kind of couple’s argument. As she goes further into this [dark] story … the arguments become slightly [more] violent outside.”