Gary Roger Rydstrom
June 29, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Supervising sound editor
Gary Roger Rydstrom (born June 29, 1959) is an American sound designer and film director. He has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards for his work in sound for movies, winning 7.
Rydstrom was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1981. He began his career at Skywalker Sound, Northern California in 1983. Offered the job by a college professor, he received the opportunity to work with his mentor, Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt.
After gaining invaluable experience as a sound technician in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Rydstrom went on to do sound design for the comedy Spaceballs. The sound design for Backdraft, prepared from scratch, would become the precursor for his sound for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The original sound effects from Backdraft are constantly referenced and have been used for numerous other films including The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Shrek.
He won an Academy Award for his work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, for which he pioneered techniques still used today for creating realistic sound effects. Rydstrom also worked with Terminator 2 director James Cameron on a new 5.1 surround mix for the original Terminator.
His sound work on Jurassic Park led to further innovations, as he and his team set out to create dinosaur sounds by mixing together numerous different animal vocalizations to make the audience feel as though giant bellowing prehistoric beasts surrounded them. The Oscar-winning film was the first motion picture to be presented in DTS. The T.rex roar created by Gary was later reused for Dim in A Bug's Life, Thanator in Avatar and the Hydra in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
He subsequently went on to work on sound for numerous films including Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report and Finding Nemo. He won an MPSE lifetime achievement award, and regularly speaks at various sound design forums sharing his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring sound design artists.
He made his directorial debut with the Pixar short Lifted, for which he received his fourteenth Academy Award nomination. It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2006. His debut feature film for the studio, Newt, which was supposed to be about the adventure of two blue-footed newts, and their struggles to work together, was announced in 2008. It supposedly reached the early stages of production, until it was cancelled by Pixar in early 2011 due to story issues. He has also directed the Pixar short Hawaiian Vacation and the Lucasfilm animated feature Strange Magic.
Rydstrom has also served as English language director on Tales From Earthsea, Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, all of which were produced by the Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli.
Gary Rydstrom has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards (7 wins), 12 Golden Reel Awards (5 wins), 5 C.A.S Awards (2 wins), and 5 BAFTA Awards (2 wins).