Gregory King Sounds Off – Discussing the Sound of EntertainmentApril 21, 2019
When Gregory King, sound designer and re-recording mixer of The Orville first arrived at San Diego Comic Con, he was shocked. “I am amazed they are selling comics,” he said, sounding slightly dumbfounded. “I thought the convention had been completely taken over by pop culture.
Originally a musician, King stumbled into the sound side of the entertainment business. “I needed a day job,” he said with a chuckle. “I was very lucky. They were looking for someone who understood the electronics of sound, [and that was me.] Originally, I was working with sprockets and film.”
Much has changed since then. But one thing hasn’t:
Sound “creates and influences mood,” and can have a huge impact on viewers. Everything needs to be in balance. All of the sound from voice, music, and sound effects needs to be mixed correctly, so that transitions are seamless. Really, if nobody notices his work, “[I’m] doing [my] job right.”
The Orville is an homage to Star Trek, because “Seth is a a huge Trek fan. But we don’t want it to sound like Star Trek,” since it’s an homage, not a copy. The sound needs to live on its own.
King also works on Nightflyers but it’s a very different show as The Orville. “[Nightflyers] fuses horror with Sci-Fi. It’s a very different feeling. The music needs to draw them in and manipulate them,” because it sets a very different tone.
When asked which film best exemplifies quality sound work, King says without hesitation: “Apocalypse now. It does all the things we aspire to. It uses sound as a motivator of the story, and uses themes that are repeated throughout.”
Speaking to King was a fascinating exploration of the sound of movies and TV as he is a font of knowledge on the craft of sound, which isn’t something I’ve ever really thought much about.
Thanks to Gregory King for speaking with me at San Diego Comic Con