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Making Waves

The Art of Cinematic Sound

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
reveals the hidden power of sound in cinema – and our lives. Through film clips, interviews and verité footage, the film captures the history, impact and creative process of this overlooked art form through the insights and stories of legendary directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Barbra Streisand, Ang Lee, Christopher Nolan, Sofia Coppola and Ryan Coogler, and the sound men and women with whom they collaborate.

Few have “ears to hear” or comprehend the emotional storytelling impact sound plays in so-called visual media. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas have both declared that “sound is 50% of the movie” with Spielberg saying “our ears lead our eyes to where the story lives.” In Making Waves, we see and hear from the key players of sound design – including multi-Oscar winners Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now), Ben Burtt (Star Wars) and Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan) – who, in pursuing their art and desire to push the medium, are the very people who will go down in the history of cinema as developing sound into the immersive storytelling force it is today. Audiences will discover many unsung collaborators for the key creative artists they are, in a domain that has for too long been characterized as “technical.”

Screen Daily, Cannes review 2019


Hollywood Reporter, Tribeca review 2019


“Fascinating and informative, it’s a ‘must-watch’ for film students and fans alike… Director Midge Costin approaches her subject with both authority and an infectious enthusiasm.”
– Wendy Ide, Screen International

A polished directing debut for veteran sound editor Costin… will leave many geekier audience members wishing it were three times as long… ‘Making Waves’ will likely inspire viewers to seek out their favorite films and experience them with fresh ears.”
– John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

Included in "Tribeca 2019: 12 Must-See Films at This Year's Festival
“You’ll never listen to a movie the same way again.”
– David Ehrlich, Indiewire

Included in "19 Films You Should See at This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival"
“Making Waves makes a great case for sound being truly half the picture. You may never rewatch movies the same way. “
– Emily Yoshida, Vulture

Included in “25 Movies We Can't Wait To See at Tribeca 2019”
“Midge Costin’s wonderfully wonky doc looks at the importance of sound design when it comes to making movie moments memorable, combining a quick history lesson of the art form with personal testimonies from legends like Water Murch, Ben Burtt, Gary Rydstrom and more.“
– David Fear, Rolling Stone

Included in “"The Best and Worst Movies of the Tribeca Film Festival"
“If you’re the kind of movie nerd whose heart is set a-flutter by the mention of Walter Murch, this is the movie for you. It’s full of great stories about favorites and classics... but ultimately, what’s most striking is the larger sense of history – how tightly the story of sound design’s evolution is intertwined with the story of Hollywood itself.”
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

“ Mesmerizing, thoroughly engrossing… This is a fun film to watch… an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the effort and skill required to create movie sound artfully.”
– Bradley Gibson, Film Threat

“[An] authoritative, concise, and entertaining look at the history and practice of cinematic sound, which features an impressive array of directors and the biggest names in sound design… ‘Making Waves’ covers an impressive amount of ground in 90 minutes and is a perfect introduction to the subject for a student or casual fan.”
– Joe Blessing, The Playlist

Video & Radio Interviews:  Midge Costin, director Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound:

Tribeca Premiere 2019

Cannes 2019 Deadline

New Zealand International Film Festival 2019 catalogue review