|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2009)|
|Industry||Sound effects, Sound editing and Remastering|
|Headquarters||Lucas Valley, near Nicasio, California.|
|Key people||George Lucas
Josh Lowden (General Manager of Skywalker Sound)
Leslie Ann Jones
(The Walt Disney Company)
Skywalker Sound is the sound effects, sound editing, sound design, sound mixing and music recording division of George Lucas' Lucas Digital motion picture group. Its main facilities are located in Lucas Valley, near Nicasio, California. It began as Sprocket Systems in San Anselmo, California and its name officially changed to Skywalker Sound in 1987 after the company moved to Skywalker Ranch.
While located in San Anselmo, Sprocket Systems came into contact with the local residents from time to time. For instance, Kentfield resident Pat Welsh, "discovered" while shopping at a camera store, provided the voice for E.T.. During the sound recording of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford could be spied practicing his bullwhip technique in the parking lot.
Sprocket Systems moved from San Anselmo following a disastrous flood in January 1982.
Its staff of Sound Designers and Re-Recording Mixers have either won or been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing every year since Star Wars in 1977 (in that year Ben Burtt was given a Special Achievement Award, since the category for Sound Editing had not yet been established).
Mixing stages, editorial services and scoring stages are all located in a central "Tech Building", with dining areas and living quarters in the vicinity but separate from the main work area.
Josh Lowden - General Manager of Skywalker Sound
- Christopher Boyes - Re-recording mixer/Sound Designer - Titanic, Pearl Harbor, King Kong
- Richard Hymns - Supervising Sound Editor - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Hulk
- Leslie Ann Jones - Director of Scoring and Music Recording
- Lora Hirschberg - Re-recording mixer - Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Dark Knight, Inception
- Tom Myers - Sound Designer - The Dust Factory, Cars, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Monsters University; Re-recording mixer/Supervising Sound Editor, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2
- Michael Semanick - Re-recording mixer - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, King Kong, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2
- Randy Thom - Re-recording mixer/Sound Designer - Forrest Gump, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, Ratatouille, Ghost in the Shell 2.0
- Matthew Wood - Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer - Titan A.E., Mission: Impossible, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith
Sprocket Systems is a sound editing, sound FX, sound design and sound mixing company that was first made by George Lucas. In 1987, the crew moved to the Skywalker Ranch, and changed the name to Skywalker Sound.
Skywalker Sound was now a true company with its division, The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm Ltd., and the services are now appeared with sound FX, sound design, sound editing, sound mixing, and music production.
Currently, Skywalker Sound hires anywhere from 80 to 160 employees (depending on workload), and for the first time, Skywalker Sound provides sound and music production services for movies, commercials, TV, IMAX and other large format films, theme park attractions, and videogames. Their scoring stage records and mixes music ranging from solo piano pieces to works using full 130-piece orchestras. Each year, they work on 20 to 30 different films, and have won a total of 18 Academy Awards.