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John Krasinski's one rule for A Quiet Place Part II's sound design: 'Just follow the rules'
A Quiet Place Part II is almost finshing tiptoeing into theaters. As first reactions praise the follow-up to John Krasinski's slam-dunk directorial debut, the writer/director of the sequel has divulged his approach when it came to ratcheting things up from a technical perspective. Krasinski famously edited the first film for weeks entirely on mute, so sound and silence have played a major role in the franchise's history both on and off-screen. How do you up the ante with such a high sensory bar?
Speaking to SYFY WIRE at the A Quiet Place Part II junket, Krasinski explained how he moved things forward in a franchise built around an inventive use of noise and its absence.
“Instead of figuring out how to do it cooler and better, I just said to the guys - Ethan [Van der Ryn] and Erik [Aadahl], who were our incredible sound designers on this, and our mixer Brandon Proctor, who’s amazing - I said let’s just do what’s right for the movie," the writer/director said of approaching a film filled with both flashbacks to the monsters' attack and introductions of newcomers.
"If it turns out to be cooler than the first one, great. If it turns out not to be, great," he said. "Let’s just follow the rules that we set up. What we found was by doing that, and not trying to be cool, we ended up uncovering way more stuff than we ever would’ve been able to [otherwise].”
Neither Van der Ryn nor Aadahl are strangers to the Academy Awards, so it makes sense that the high-caliber team would be able to keep the tension high even after the novelty wore off. Speaking to SYFY WIRE back in 2018, the duo explained that logic is handed down in multiple ways from Krasinski.
Some of it could be telling a story through mundane noises (like hearing aid feedback), while the monsters have their own "logic behind it, because they are so disturbed by sound it doesn't make sense for them to be too noisy. So, how do you deal with those conflicting ideas to make them terrifying, but at the same time to make them hate sound?" Maintaining that problem-solving spirit from an aural perspective was paramount for the follow-up's success, and — if first reactions are any indications — the logical work kept up with the first film's high standards.
A Quiet Place Part II sneaks into theaters on March 20.
Reporting by Kristy Puchko.