I was recently sent the link to a video of footage from the booster cameras aboard space shuttle flights STS-0117 and STS-127. Although I have seen many space shuttle launch videos before, this one was different. There was some sound design put into it, mixed and mastered by Benny Burtt and Noah Katz from Skywalker Sound.
This video is part of a DVD and Blu-ray special edition of Ascent, a movie that collects the best video material of three decades of the space shuttle.
Listening to the entire video, the sound design that went into this was very well thought out and implemented. It doesn’t really shine until you get to the point where the boosters are just floating in space. They are empty and all you hear is the silence of space plus the echoed pinging noises of the gases inside the boosters. This ambiance continues until you start to hear the roar of the atmosphere as the booster begin their decent back down to earth, eventually splashing into the ocean.
Watching and listening to this video reminds myself, and should remind any filmmaker out there, how important audio is in truly representing what is being visually portrayed. It definitely takes simple footage of a space shuttle launch and takes it to a whole new world. (Pun intended!!)
**Be sure to watch/listen to it in 720p**