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MOORPARK : Sound Man Garners 2nd Emmy Award

To David McMoyler, the sound of a thundering stampede or the grinding crunch of a car crash just isn’t dramatic enough.

It’s his job to enhance reality and, by all accounts, he does it well. The 34-year-old Moorpark man picked up his second Emmy Award recently for sound editing on the television miniseries “Son of the Morning Star.”

Two years ago, he took an Emmy for sound work on the televised version of Larry McMurtry’s Western saga “Lonesome Dove.”

“The first Emmy was a big charge because it was a show I supervised,” he said. “I was on pins and needles. This one I was excited about, but I was one of 19 on the sound-editing team.”

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What most people don’t realize, he said, is that 90% of the sound in a film is replaced or built from scratch after shooting. Sometimes the original sound is enhanced with other sounds.

“A lot of times, with an explosion or a car crash, the actual sound is pretty mundane,” he said. “We almost have to build our own version . . . to make it hyper-real.”

When he worked on the Home Box Office movie “By Dawn’s Early Light,” he had to add sound effects for a nuclear explosion. After much research, he used the sound of a supersonic transport jet taking off for the initial few seconds of the blast. “It was right on the edge of distortion, and it made a roaring, buzzing sound,” he said. He followed that up with the shrieking sound of dry ice being held against metal.

McMoyler got his start in filmmaking when he was a student at Humboldt State University in Northern California. After that, he free-lanced as a film and video editor, working mostly on nonprofit documentaries and church films.

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Five years ago, he went to work for Echo Film Services doing television work on shows such as “In the Heat of the Night.” Six months ago, he moved to Soundelux in Hollywood and a shot at feature films. His credits include “Prancer” and “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” The father of three children, ages 10, 7 and 5, he moved to Moorpark three years ago for the cleaner air. He now commutes up to 75 minutes each way to Hollywood.

As for his Emmy, “I refer to her as the lady holding the beach ball,” he said. “I’m thinking about having mine as a hood ornament for my car.”


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