Greyhawk is about a lot of things – a missing dog, lost humanity, trust, loyalty and friendship – but one thing in particular is central to it. Blindness. Its main character Mal – a reclusive, disillusioned British army veteran – is blind.
We didn’t want that blindness to be incidental, an aspect of Mal which perhaps helped characterise him, merely singling him out as the recipient of particularly bad luck – the loss of eyesight – in Afghanistan. We wanted that blindness to be integral to him, not something referred to and then forgotten. That meant finding a way, on film, of expressing his point of view or showing how he ‘saw’ things as a blind man.
And it struck us from the get-go that that way was largely through sound. Which is where we knew Pindrop would come in. We needed a company not just good with sound, but excellent with it.
We didn’t want to suggest that Mal had super-human hearing – it was our understanding from consultants on the film that hearing doesn’t become better with the loss of sight, just that the blind person is, perhaps, more conscious, more often, of what they’re hearing.
So we asked Pindrop to design a soundscape which would really help tell the story, not just be a useful ‘finish’ to the film. Pindrop’s design does just that. It shows Mal having to work out what’s around him, what’s going on, what obstacles or people need to be circumnavigated, by emphasising this sound or that, throwing it here or there, now lowering the atmos, now heightening it.
Between them, Steven, Richard and Andy have not only helped give Mal a POV, they’ve created other ‘characters’ – especially, for example, the estate of Greyhawk in which the majority of the film takes place – with their innovative use of sound.
They’re full of great ideas, invention and a willingness to understand what a film needs. So we feel, for a film that needed sound to be an integral ingredient, we couldn’t have gone to a better place.
Guy Pitt – Director