‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Behind the Scenes: On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan

By ABC News

Jul 9, 2012 7:50am

By MEREDITH FROST

For someone who considers themselves the ultimate Batman fanatic (I freely admit, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to this), just the opportunity to meet Christopher Nolan would have been enough. To visit the sound stage, where “The Dark Knight Rises” sound-mixing took place would have been enough. Even just getting to see the movie a few weeks ahead of everyone else definitely would have been enough. But getting to do all three? I don’t know if I can even put that into words.

I’ve always loved superhero movies. I remember watching Michael Keaton in 1989′s “Batman” as a kid with my dad. Every bit of it was thrilling to me. I knew (even then) what a force these types of movies were. However It wasn’t until I saw Christopher Nolan’s, “Batman Begins” followed by “The Dark Knight,” that I realized how special these superhero films truly were, or even had the capacity to be. He introduced an unparalleled realm where our common dreams and cataclysmic nightmares can be played out in realistic situations: unsettling, thought-provoking, awesome.

Watch ABC News’ Chris Connelly’s exclusive interviews with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale on “Nightline” TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT 

Six months ago I pitched a profile on Christopher Nolan to “Nightline” when I read online that tickets for the midnight screening of the film were already sold out. It’s hard to believe any movie could have such explosive effect so early on in the game.

This would be big. 

When I got the “green light” to produce the piece, and found out I was going to meet him in Calirfornia- the superhero “geek” in me took over, full throttle.

ht Dark knight christopher nolan edit2 thg 120709 wblog The Dark Knight Rises, Behind the Scenes: On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan

Credit: Meredith Frost/ABC

You know that feeling you used to get waking up on Christmas Morning as a kid or that surge of excitement when thrown the keys to your first car?  Tie in every singular moment that resonates absolute joy, and multiply it by a thousand. That was how I felt from the moment I stepped onto the Warner Bros. lot and I wasn’t even through the door yet. It was a visceral experience, and a humbling moment of sorts. I thought to myself, “this is where some of the biggest blockbusters of all time are created.” 

Before I entered “Screening Room 5″ that morning, I said to myself “Be cool, Meredith. Don’t geek-out too hard, you’ve got a job to do.”

I sat down next to ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly in a theater-like room, just the two of us, and he turned to me and whispered, “Are you ready?” As the lights went down, I actually physically couldn’t believe I was going to be one of the first in the world to watch Nolan’s conclusion to his Batman trilogy. Yes. this was MY JOB. Not a bad gig. 

 

For two and a half hours, I was completely taken into another world. I experienced that larger than life sensation of watching a perfectly constructed story play out, it really was a palpable feeling. After watching the film, I had a renewed sense of childlike wonder. It felt like I saw “Batman” again for the very first time.

 As we left the screening room, and parted ways with the PR people, The intuitive Mr. Connelly let me have it. “Ok, now you can let it out” he said. I screamed, like an excited school girl.

I had reached a fevered pitch after seeing this movie, but we were headed to “The Dark Knight Rises” soundstage to meet Christopher Nolan, I was speechless. I had an internal struggle, of sorts: One part of me wanted to completely let loose and talk about the film, the characters, what the movie meant to me, but the “Nightline” producer side kept me composed. In retrospect, had the rabid fangirl come out, it wouldn’t have been fun for anyone (but me).

ht Dark knight christopher nolan edit thg 120709 wblog The Dark Knight Rises, Behind the Scenes: On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan

Credit: Meredith Frost/ABC

After the “Nightline” interview wrapped, I spent some time talking with the sound editors about the incredible dedication Nolan had throughout the entire process of making this film. After seven months of shooting “The Dark Knight Rises,” Nolan spent all of his time in post-production and at the Warner Bros. sound stage. All day, everyday, for 12 weeks, overseeing every nuance of sound, frame for frame. 

Talk about commitment. 

“When you’re dealing with sound mixing, and post-production, we try to address these subtleties for the audience” Nolan said. “It’s all really about building to this moment where you put it out there for everybody. And until that happens, it’s not done.”

It was just as mesmerizing to hear these words, as it was to see him sit down and collaborate with his editors tweaking the sound for “The Dark Knight Rises” prologue. To me, Christopher Nolan is an artist, unrivaled in his craft. His vision, acute sense of style and storytelling, run parallel to the legacy of his trilogy. 

Watch ABC News’ Chris Connelly’s exclusive interviews with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale on “Nightline” TONIGHT at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT 

 

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