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Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt to speak in Syracuse

November 04, 2011

Christine Fawcett
(315) 443-8826

Ben Burtt, Academy-award winning sound designer, filmmaker, editor and writer, grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Nottingham High School.

He is personally responsible for some of the most iconic sounds heard in films, such as R2-D2's beeps and whistles in the "Star Wars" series, and the light saber hum, which he created from a film projector idling, combined with feedback from a broken television set.

Burtt will bring his reputation—he earned four Oscars—and his experiences—he worked on four “Indiana Jones” films, as well as “E.T.,” “Munich,” “Star Trek” and “Wall-E” among others and earned a degree in physics—to Le Moyne College Performing Arts Center on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. for the new series Film Talks. Sponsored by Le Moyne in collaboration with the Syracuse International Film Festival, the series aims to give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what inspires film artists.

“Film, or cinema, has become a part of our lives, from seeing film clips and trailers on television to watching movies in theaters and computers and experiencing video in galleries," says Julie Grossman, professor of English and communication and film studies at Le Moyne. “Films are educational tools in schools, they are entertainment at home and they are increasingly a means of engaging the social and technological worlds around us.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door; they are $10 each or $5 for faculty and seniors (free admission for SU and Le Moyne College students with ID.) Parking is free. For more information, call SYRFILM at 315-443-8826 or see

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