Al Nelson’s Sound Design Journey From “Jurassic Park” To “Top Gun: Maverick”
“Top Gun: Maverick” is filled with booming jet engines and layered sonic storytelling. Since this publication, it won the award for Best Sound at the Oscars, largely due to the work of Al Nelson, sound designer and supervising sound editor at Skywalker Sound. Hear how he and his team spent time on aircraft carriers to capture the film’s iconic sounds.
Al Nelson may be known affectionately by some as the “dinosaurs and jets” guy for his work on “Jurassic World” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” but his 27-year body of work has touched all genres, including films like “Knives Out,” “Toy Story 2,” “20 Feet From Stardom,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and more.
We visit Al Nelson at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to hear how he makes his art. Nelson discusses the influence of past sound designers on his creative process and the journey he has taken climbing the ranks at Skywalker Sound. He gives insight into the meticulous choices that are made in the edit room, choices that play a critical role in the storytelling process.