Sound Design for ‘The Hurt Locker’

Seeing is believing but hearing also plays a key role in making things real in "The Hurt Locker." Indeed, two of the nine Oscar nominations for Kathryn Bigelow's film are for work by sound designer Paul N.J. Ottosson: one for achievement in sound (with Ray Beckett) and one for achievement in sound editing.

Ottosson, an Oscar and BAFTA nominee in 2005 for "Spider-Man 2," also is BAFTA-nominated for "Locker" with Beckett.

Talking recently with Ottosson, I noted the references to sounds I saw watching "Locker" on DVD with subtitles, including "sirens wailing," "glass cracking," "television playing" and "people shouting in Arabic."

Without subtitles, the background sounds don't stand out, and we don't pay special attention to them. But they're important in driving "Locker's" story.

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