Sound Makers | Designing Horror Soundscapes with Mark Angus
Though most people would expect a horror video game to be filled with shrieks and groans, for much of 2014’s Alien: Isolation (based on the popular ‘80s film franchise), there is only the sound of your own breathing. “We tried to keep things to a minimum; we tried to use silence as a weapon,” explains sound designer Mark Angus. Knowing that the smallest sound you make might mean the difference between life or death, this unconventional approach ends up creating some of the scariest, most immersive moments in the game.
A musician-turned-sound designer, Angus had always been fascinated with the original Alien films, taking their sound design as an inspiration for the video game he was tasked to build the soundscapes for. At the end of the day, he says, “people’s imaginations are the most powerful force in any experience”– and using that can be a sound designer’s greatest advantage.
Watch the video to delve into Angus’ unique philosophy on sound in horror—it might just make you hold your breath.
Part of Sound Makers, a series shining the spotlight on unique personalities shaping our everyday soundscapes: how they began their journey of creating sounds, what inspires and drives them, and the process behind bringing their magic to life.