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Music And Sound
Minority Report reunites Spielberg with five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, with whom the director has collaborated on nineteen films over nearly three decades. For Minority Report, Williams creates what Spielberg calls his "first black and white score" – a classic suspense score with little tonality. "I think all of John's previous movie work has been in ‘color'," Spielberg explains, "but this score is more experimental. You feel it more than you hear it."

Multiple Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom approached the sound design for Minority Report as a "past/future" film. "There are things we've never seen before," he says, "and there are also sounds that harken back to old Hollywood serials."

Rydstrom and his team started early, recording and experimenting with different sounds that they would eventually match with Spielberg's striking imagery. Their task was to give sound to the Mag-Lev and its ostensibly silent vehicles; create emotional sound design for the pre-visions of murders and holographic home movies; and record real hover crafts for the hover craft sequence. Jet packs, talking billboards, and a futuristic car factory, among other ambient environments, all had to be accounted for. "The audience has to recognize a sound as matching what they're seeing," says Rydstrom. "Our job is to make the audience think that what they're hearing is really happening on set. But the other part of our job is to make the sound of each of these things reflect the spirit or the feeling of the moment. One of the great things about working with Steven Spielberg is he's very good at describing that feeling. Early on he said he was trying to make a futuristic John Huston film noir. It has these two opposing elements, and the combination will result in the feeling of this movie."

One of the most challenging sequences involved the mechanical spiders that track Anderton down to scan his eyes. "They're robotic," he describes, "they have a job to do. They're not living. But they move like spiders. So, I was trying to find the balance between something that would seem very futuristic, just tapping metal, clicking, creaking, things opening on the spiders. But also using things that would give them character."

Unspooling tape from a tape dispenser and dental floss from a roll helped give

the spiders their screech. But for their footfalls, Rydstrom turned to a group of researchers at Cornell University, who had developed a sophisticated way of recording the sounds of jumping spiders, which are inaudible to the human ear. "They did these beautiful recordings of these jumping spiders doing their various rituals," Rydstrom recalls. "The spiders sounded mechanical, even though they're natural, and they did strange things with their legs. They would pop and whir and sound like little machinery. The natural world is full of interesting sounds we haven't explored yet. It's an amazing, new, untapped source for sounds."<


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