Monday, January 23, 2006

Walter Murch visits SFU

...and talks to my professors in Communication.

Editor, sound designer, director and author Walter Murch will be in Vancouver February 15-17 for a series of events. Murch invented the term 'sound design' to describe his ground-breaking work on American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973). A classmate of Lucas at USC and an early collaborator with Francis Coppola, Murch quickly became the most respected sound editor in Hollywood, developing a revolutionary multi-track recording style that is now used everywhere. He is also highly regarded as a picture editor. Along with his work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Trilogy, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Apocalypse Redux, and most recently Jarhead, Murch has worked on innovative low-budget films like Crumb and The Apostle, and reconstructed Orson Welles' 1958 film Touch of Evil to conform more closely to Welles's own revolutionary ideas on sound.

Murch is an articulate and thoughtful writer on many subjects and has a special interest in perception. He has written an influential book on editing, In the Blink of an Eye, and collaborated with Michael Ondaatje on The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film.

ROUND TABLE ON FILM AND PERCEPTION: Murch speaks with SFU Professors Andrew Feenberg, Laura Marks and Martin Laba. Wednesday 15 February 4 - 6 pm. SFU Harbour Centre. Free, but reservations required.

THE CONVERSATION (Francis Coppola, 1974) Thursday 16 February 7:30 p.m. Murch will present and discuss this film, on which he was supervising editor and sound editor. The Conversation is highly praised not only as a character study of a secretive surveillance expert (played by Gene Hackman) but also for the remarkable complexity of a story told through its sound design. Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour. $15/$10 Praxis members and students. Tickets can be bought at the door, or on-line at

MASTER CLASS for Editors & Sound Designers. Admission by application. The morning session is limited to 40 participants; the afternoon session will require knowledge of Final Cut Pro and is restricted to 25. Friday 17 February 9:30 -12:30 and 1:30-4:30. To apply, send a letter and resume to Praxis by Tuesday 31 Jan. Morning session: $50/Full Day $165 (lunch included in full day session)

For information and reservations for the Round Table and Master Class, please contact Praxis at (604)268-7880 or

Sponsored by Praxis Centre for Screenwriters, the Humanities Institute, ACT, the School of Communication and the 40th Anniversary Fund at Simon Fraser University; IATSE Local 89; and Telefilm Canada.


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