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‘American Horror Story’: Details Stir Terror in Auds

Subtle tweaks made sound tricks creepier

Emmy-nominated for multiple episodes, “American Horror Story” found subtle ways to tweak its audience.

“Ryan (Murphy) always wanted us to look for ways to get an authentic look so we’d use things like a hand-cranked camera,” says DP Michael Goi, nommed for episode “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2.”

Production designer Mark Worthington, nommed for the same episode as Goi and “Welcome to Briarcliff,” was also after a look from another era.

“We were channeling ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ that kind of stylized manner in the way we did things,” he says.

Also nommed for “Briarcliff,” supervising sound editor Gary Megregian and production sound mixer Sean Rush faced different challenges. Rush had to mic actors dressed in nuns’ garb; he finally hid recording equipment in their crucifixes so no looping would be needed later. And Megregian kept the sounds small but creepy in order to make “the audience lean in and scare themselves more.”

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