1428 Elm: and it’s a credit to you that probably nobody even thinks about that, it just all seems so perfectly blended when you’re watching the series. You don’t think about things like that having to be added or tweaked at all.
Jonathan: That is definitely the goal, because if people start thinking about stuff like that, then they’re not watching the story. One of the important things about what we do is if we’ve done it right, everybody should be like, “Well, of course it sounds like that.” I think that the biggest compliment is for people to not come out talking about the sound, it’s about the emotion.
And that’s especially important with dialogue-driven or story-driven pieces like Midnight Mass. In work like this, the sound is creating moods and environments, and it’s helping to sell what’s already there. We’re not trying to create something that people don’t believe is there, and that’s also important for the non-human aspects of it.
There’s only two sounds that we ever do for the non-human part of Midnight Mass; one is the vampire hunger idea, and that was a big evolution.
And the other was the vampire vision, when you’re looking through their eyes and seeing the world as they see it. The hunger sound was especially difficult, Mike would say, “We don’t want to make it seem like they have indigestion.” But you also want to make it believable, and Trevor Macy came up with this idea of, you know, what does it feel like to be this way, is it more like it’s in your head? And that’s where the ringing part of that sound came from, as we were experimenting. Maybe this thing starts in your stomach and ends up in your head.
But, so much of what sells that has nothing to do with the sound, it’s all in the acting. Especially the first time it happens when Father Paul is in his bedroom, and we realize he’s actually in some pain. But, if you watch that with no sound, you still get it, it’s all him. We just enhanced it, his performance was just so good.
1428 Elm: It is! I’m telling you, every performance in that series is just spot-on. And for something so frightening, it’s honestly quite beautiful.
Jonathan: Mike loves to do that. It’s how the characters respond to the situation that they’re in, not just what IS the situation they’re in. How does it affect them?
1428 Elm: Well, before I let you go, can you tell us what the next project or projects are that you are working on (if you are allowed to talk about them)?
Jonathan: We are currently working on The Midnight Club, because apparently midnight is the theme now! It’s adapted from a Christopher Pike book, so I can tell you that’s the next Mike Flanagan universe project, and it will be coming to Netflix sometime in the future.
1428 Elm: Right, and I heard that he is also adapting The Fall of the House of Usher, so perhaps you might be involved in that as well.
Jonathan: We are talking about that, I’m very excited to see how that works, and I haven’t read a single line of the script yet.
1428 Elm: I’m sure he’ll do something wonderful with it, just as he did with one of my favorite books, The Haunting of Hill House. I love everything you guys have worked on together.
Jonathan: We’re trying to keep it fresh and honest, and make real stories about real people.
1428 Elm: Thank you so much for your time.
Jonathan: Thank you, it was an absolute pleasure.
Have you watched Midnight Mass? Tell us what you thought about it in the comments section.