Benjamin A Burtt Biography
Benjamin A Burtt is an American sound designer, film editor, director, screenwriter, and voice actor. Benjamin Burtt has worked as sound designer on film; the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series, Invasion of the Body Snatchers of 1978, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial of 1982, WALL-E of 2008 and Star Trek of 2009.
Burtt is famously known for popularizing the Wilhelm scream (often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion) and creating iconic sound effects heard in the Star Wars film franchise, including the “voice” of R2-D2, the lightsaber hum, the sound of the blaster guns, and the heavy-breathing sound of Darth Vader, made from himself breathing into a scuba regulator.
Ever heard of the robotic sound of Wall-E’s? Benjamin Burtt created it and he is also the sound editor of the movie.
Burtt’s remarkable works, made him win 4 Academy Awards (two of which are Special Achievement Academy Awards), he is the director of several documentary films, and the editor of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Benjamin A Burtt Age
Benjamin Burtt was born in Jamesville, New York on July 12, 1948. He is aged 70 years as of 2018.
Benjamin A Burtt Education
Benjamin Burtt graduated with a major in physics from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Benjamin A Burtt Career
Burt had already created his name in the field of showbiz. With a war film, he won the National Student Film Festival reputedly after following exposure to classic aviation drama through making an amateur film at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (a living aviation museum in Red Hook, New York) with Cole Palen as the guide from its founder.
Burtt won a scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, where he earned a master’s degree in film production, all that courtesy of his work on the special-effects film Genesis.
As a sound designer, Burtt pioneered modern sound design, especially in the science-fiction and fantasy-film genres. In 1977, i.e before his work in the first Star Wars which is now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, science-fiction films tended to use electronic-sounding effects for futuristic devices.
Burt invented a natural sound, blending in “found sounds” to create the effects- for instance, The lightsaber hum was derived from a film projector idling combined with feedback from a broken television set, and the blaster effect started with the sound acquired from hitting a guy-wire on a radio tower with a hammer.
In the Star Wars series, part of R2-D2’s beeps and whistles are Burtt’s vocalizations. He made the sounds using an ARP 2600 synthesizer, as some of the squawks are made by the tiny holographic monsters on the Millennium Falcon spacecraft.
He is also personally responsible for some of the sounds heard in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith of 2005, the voice for Lushros Dofine, captain of the Invisible Hand cruiser and the heavy-breathing of Darth Vader which was created by recording his own breathing in an old Dacor scuba regulator.
Burt put the voice of an elderly lady that he had met in a photoshop for the voice of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It is said that the woman’s low voice was the result of very heavy smoking, specifically Kool cigarettes.
The voice was used in robots in Pixar’s film WALL-E (2008), about a lonely garbage-compacting robot. Ever watched the very well known Indiana Jones? Well, Burt is responsible for the sound effects in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of 2008.
Benjamin A Burtt Net Worth
Benjamin Burt has an estimated net worth of $3.5 million.