Gary Rydstrom - Getting a job in the industry

Gary Roger Rydstrom (born June 29, 1959) is an American sound designer and director. He has won seven Academy Awards for his work in sound for movies.

Rydstrom graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1981.[1] He began his career at Skywalker Sound, Northern California in 1983. Offered the job by a college professor, Gary 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, he 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 The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Shrek.

Gary Rydstrom's work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day is arguably his career crowning achievement where he pioneered original techniques still used to this day for creating realistic sound effects. Even to this day Terminator 2 is considered the benchmark for high-end motion picture sound design and Gary went on to win an Academy Award for his groundbreaking achievement. Rydstrom also worked with Terminator 2 director James Cameron on a new 5.1 surround mix for the original Terminator.

Gary's sound work on Jurassic Park was a milestone in terms of innovation 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 took a giant leap in being the very first motion picture to be presented in DTS.

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 for his stunning career and regularly speaks at various sound design forums sharing his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring sound design artists.

He has recently made his directorial debut with the Pixar animated 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, has been put on indefinite hold.

Rydstrom has also served as English language director on Tales From Earthsea, The Secret World of Arrietty and From up on Poppy Hill, all three films were produced by Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli.