Movie Audio: Getaway (2013)

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,

I am a huge fan of Fords – Mustangs specifically.  Needless to say, when I first saw the trailers for the movie Getaway (2013), I have always wanted to see it.  However, I only got the chance to see it recently.  Since this is not a movie review blog, I’ll save you my less-than-satisfied comments on the movie itself, and stick to the audio.

It’s obvious that anything big budget these days (this movie cost $18 million to make) needs to have audio that is high quality.  For the most part, this movie did a good job with the audio.  Probably one of the best audio related aspects of the movie was in the car dialogue.  When the two main actors Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke were sitting in the Shelby GT500 talking to each other, the audio characteristics and reflections of the voices definitely sounded like they were in a car with the windows up.  That was a nice touch.

What about the car itself?  Well the engine definitely wasn't the 99 cent sound found on iTunes that the movie Drive used.  While I’m not exactly sure if that was the sound of the supercharged 5.4L V8 that Shelby has, it did sound accurate.  I am very glad they included that whine of the supercharger, but didn't overdo it.  The subtle ticking of the engine as it cools down after Hawke turns the car off was a nice touch as well.

For the most part, the engine sounds were mixed well.  However, there were plenty of moments where the rumble of the V8 seemed to be given second place to music or crashes.  This is understandable and expected for a movie, but when the movie is specifically devoted to driving, mixing like this sound be reconsidered when possible.

There are some mechanical sounds that could use improvement.  Let’s start with what we hear most in the movie: crashes.  I was not aware European cars were made of so much glass.  In most cases, even a small impact sounding like nothing but glass.  Glass, glass, and more glass.  The funny thing is that most glass breaking on a car doesn't actually sound like “glass” as we would perceive it (such as the sound of a broken mirror or window in your home).  If anything, windows breaking on a car would sound more like a pop and then rain.  Regardless of which sound they used, there was too much of it.  Near the end of the movie, the glass sounds faded away.  I guess the audio team got tired of it.

Rest assured - there were a lot of glass sounds in this crash

Now I have to be a little picky here.  While I can’t say for sure, I don’t think they used the sound of the Shelby for the closing and opening of the doors.  I own a Mustang.  It’s not a high end Shelby, but it is the same generation as that, and the doors and mechanics and materials of the doors are the same.  My door closes with a bang (followed by a faint rattle), not a luxury air-tight thunk like in the movie.  Again, I’m being picky, and I can’t confirm if those are the incorrect door sounds or not, but I look at this movie as not only an audio guy, but a car guy too.

All in all, the audio for Getaway (2013) was pretty good.  I have heard better, but I have heard MUCH worse.  Will it win any audio awards?  Not in my book.  Honestly I couldn't even comment about the music in the movie.  I honestly didn't even notice it.  That can mean two things: it fit very well, or it was so “generic” that it didn't stand out.  Any and all feelings of audio critique temporarily go away when you hear the famous “Wilhelm Scream” when someone flies off a motorcycle.  As I said, in terms or audio, I've heard better and much worse.  Overall, it was pretty good and for the most part, I would give it a thumbs up.  As for the story line… Well that’s a story for someone else’s blog…

They sure as heck didn't go wrong with their car choice though