Chris Scarabosio had an oh-wow moment while watching the first “Star Wars.” It was 1977 in San Francisco, and the 11-year-old was bowled over by the film’s sound and visuals.
“I remember sitting in the theater, googly-eyed, taking it all in,” he recalls. “It was a combination of the things that I loved on one piece of media.”
Inspired, Scarabosio studied audio at San Francisco State U., took a year off to work on the “Gumby” clay animation television series and then got a summer internship at Skywalker Sound after finishing school.
He’s called Skywalker’s Nicasio, Calif., HQ his professional home ever since, and over the past 18 years has become one of the most sought-after sound designers and re-recording mixers in the business. This year, Scarabosio added his talents to “There Will Be Blood,” “The Simpsons Movie” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
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Beginning this month, Scarabosio will be working on the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” It’s a return of sorts for him, since he won an Emmy in 1993 for his work on the television series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”
“It’s just like when I saw ‘Star Wars.’ I never thought that one day I would be cutting the light-saber fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul,” he says. “It’s great working on projects that are highly anticipated: The first ‘Star Wars’ movies in 20 years, the first Indiana Jones movie in forever and ‘The Simpsons Movie.'”
Moving between films like “There Will Be Blood” and “The Simpsons” was an interesting challenge, especially since the work overlapped at times. “The sounds are different and the stories are different, but the ultimate goal of what you’re doing remains the same,” he says. “It’s creating the proper sound for the film.
“We’re always trying to come up with sounds that give some emotional response,” he adds. “It’s a great challenge, but it’s also what makes it so rewarding and interesting to keep doing it.”