Creative anonymity is a sound decision

He’s spent 25 years building soundtracks and has been Oscar-nommed twice, but Ren Klyce is content to fly below the radar, at least as far as audiences are concerned.

“Ultimately I don’t want to be noticed,” says Klyce. ” “I want to help tell the story, but I don’t want to draw too much attention to what I do.”

So he should be especially content with “Where the Wild Things Are,” his latest movie. Klyce’s evocative sound design has received far less press than have the pic’s visuals.

Yet “Wild Things” was a mammoth undertaking for Klyce. He’d discussed the film with writer-director Spike Jonze on and off for five years, worked with composers Karen O and Carter Burwell for the past three and then polished the final mix for the past year.

He’s credited as supervising sound editor and music supervisor, but that probably sells him short. He spent time with Jonze and writer Dave Eggers during the screenwriting process, attended studio screenings and meetings and was pulled into the creative core of the film.

Born in Kyoto, Japan and raised in Mill Valley, Calif. Klyce took childhood piano lessons that led to a passion for sound and recording. He studied music composition at U.C. Santa Cruz and computer music at Stanford.

In 1982, he met David Fincher, then a young f/x animator, and began a working relationship that led to Klyce’s Oscar noms, for “Fight Club” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

“It’s my good fortune to be in this position,” he says. “I don’t do many projects, because I’m afraid that if I join (a film) and don’t genuinely feel it inside, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go through the motions.”

— David John Farinella

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