Using Pop Rocks as a sound effect in Prometheus

[Video Link] SoundWorks talks with the sound team of Director Ridley Scott's latest science fiction film Prometheus.


  1. This is a damn good movie. It’s not a perfect movie, and yes there a couple of plot holes, but some of the hate this movie is getting from some quarters on the net is ridiculous. If you care about big, serious science-fiction cinema, support this movie and go see it! Don’t let the haters dissuade you; make up your own mind.

    1. Couple of plot holes? There are more than a couple. I quite like the first two Alien films, but Prometheus is full of the most ludicrously stupid characters ever to get into a trillion dollar space ship. I won’t put any spoilers here, but instead in this link for those who have seen it and care to read a well written post about why the film deserves a lot of the scorn it has been receiving from people like me:

      1. In the comments a rather nice looking avater is posting but wait; Such rudeness! The dialogue ticks away and we duly learn of the roots of the poster’s hubris, none of it relevant to the topic at hand; apparently, he doesn’t know what he thinks and has to link to someone else’s article to elucidate his position.
        HA HA, he doesn’t know which way is up, oops, here he comes back.
        But wait… etcetera et-fucking-cetera.

        I’ve especially enjoyed these kinds of glimpses behind the scenes, into the production of the film. Gleaning any kind of emotional info from the people that help with this kind of creation is like crack to me.

        …and I would like to echo Robert Travis’ call to support this film.
        After seeing it a second time, I discovered that the two instances of what I thought were plot holes were explained, one of which even has a character very clearly giving the reasoning in the moment.

        If you’re a little overcome by the scale of the film and happened to miss some of the linking-intricacies (which very definitley serve the theme), I would urge you to go back and watch it a second time… and sit a little closer to the screen than the back couple of rows.

  2. There’s no point in denying that plot and character mechanics are very poorly executed in the Prometheus script but…..movies aren’t always dependent on those characteristics to be successful.  Movies as a medium are very much an audiovisual experience rather than something that necessarily has to rigidly follow a to b to c logic every time out.  And if people don’t dig Prometheus because it pretty much botches plot mechanics, that’s cool and perfectly reasonable…but we surely don’t need these, like, Ninety-Five Theses people are nailing to the internet about Why the Medibot Scene strains Conventional Logic and Credibility….if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but there’s surely no medals going for belaboring its obvious weaknesses in this regard.

    Prometheus isn’t a patch on Alien, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s better than Aliens.  Aliens starts out beautifully, but it pretty quickly turns into a very typical Hollywood fairground ride/smorgasbord, with steam, and explosions, and countdowns, and people hanging off things, and far too much of everything.  There’s a much greater sense of economy and aesthetic elegance to the spectacle in Prometheus.  Whereas Aliens does nothing but bludgeon the viewer with adrenaline and sound and fury, Prometheus attempts to return to something of the characteristic of the first movie whereby you’re shown some, but not all, of the story, so you have something to mull over after you leave the theater.  And, however successfully it does so, it at least makes an effort to return sci-fi to one of its primary philosophical underpinnings: is humankind a completely insignificant or accidental event in the universe, or does it have some significance therein?  The fact that Prometheus remains ambiguous and open-ended on this question is to my mind a positive thing in the contemporary blockbuster landscape.  Prometheus reminds me a little of one of those 50s sci-fi movies that asks the Big Questions, and manages to be a little haunting despite the awkwardness or heavy-handedness of the expression.

    Anyway, one things for sure, Prometheus is a hell of better picture than the bloody Avengers.

    1. Aliens did a great job at presenting a post-nuclear family unit that was tied together through electronic communication. It inverted the themes of the original movie — ie, flesh is good (cats, food, friends), technology (computers that usurp the parental role, deadly androids, all the heating ducts the alien hid in and was invariably indistinguishable from) is bad. In Aliens, the aliens are explictly fleshy — the big bad alien is a Big Bad MOTHER dripping with baby-making slime, laying eggs, feeding the young, protecting the infants. The humans are connected to and through technology, they now, are indistinguishable from the electronics that defines them.

      Plus, lots of explosions, woo!

  3. Okay seriously. Getting tons of mixed messages on this film. So can anyone here who has actually seen this and the other Aliens films let me know this much: The first two Alien films were centered around maternal/M.O.T.H.E.R. sending kids off into the world.

    Seriously, the first film is focused on some scary childish way of perceiving the iciness of birth & procreation: The aliens popping out of a stomach is basically what kids think happens when they hear someone is pregnant.

    The second film—Aliens—is about Ripley & her maternal instincts to protect Newt from the Alien Queen who is the mother of all monsters, right?So then how does Prometheus fit into this? Is it the paternal side of the equation? Seems like it. Big creepy men from another world & all that.


      Miasm will probably disagree with me in a carefully researched paragraph or three on how rude it is to not stay on point about how the use of pop rocks in Prometheus’s intricate wall of sound further provides evidence that this is Ridley Scott’s finest work to date, but Prometheus is indeed an extremely flawed meditation on the pros and cons of fathers and gods (sky fathers). 
      1. The title of the film is “Prometheus”, who, in Greek myth, was the creator of men from clay, in addition to sparking the fires of civilization through his gift of a single flame to men. The father of all men.

      2. The Space Jockey from Alien turns out to be from a race of aliens who, as it turns out according to two super religious archaeologists and Guy Pierce in a rubber mask who looked at some ancient tablets of tall men pointing at 5 stars, created men through drinking some nasty black junk for a space thermos  and puking into earth’s oceans a while ago. Sorry Darwin. Space Jockey is the father of all men and thus Prometheus.

      3. David the robot is Guy Pierce in a rubber mask’s son but is a disappointment because he has no soul. He can however take care of people in cryopods, play basketball with one hand on a bike, likes the film “Lawrence of Arabia”, serves his father obediently, and has a go at being a father himself by taking a spec of Alien WMD and putting into an archaeologist’s drink that he doesn’t like because he calls him boy instead of “David” and also doesn’t think robots have souls. I suspect he has a bit of robo-bitterness, despite what he says, about his rubber faced father being ambivalent to his accomplishments and seeing him as a tool rather than an expression of life in his own right. Also, in his way, he is the father of what will be the Alien Xenomorph in the past future Alien movies. David is Prometheus. 

      4. The female archaeologist who can’t have kids and thus be a mother because of some unspecified problems, gets pregnant after all from David’s calculated WMD roofy. She also has daddy issues in spades and believes that god is awesome and totally lovely even though mommy died at an early age. Her dad was her god and robo David watched her dream about him using their cryo pods dream watching screen.

      5. Charlize Theron is the daughter of Guy Pierce in a rubber mask, who is not actually dead and on the ship and she hates the fact that her dad won’t die and let her take over because she’s super fit and hard and capable and can shoot a flame thrower and she’s no robot and will prove it to Stringer Bell! She is also jealous of David, her robo sibling. Her daddy is really disappointing, but she’ll always be his little girl, but she doesn’t believe in sky-fathers.

      6. Just like every god that everyone has ever thought up in order to make money and get girls, when a Space Jockey/Prometheus finally wakes up and says hello to the people his people created, he smiles and tries to murder every last one of them, but doesn’t quite succeed. Don’t try to know the mind of your father or your god. They truly are baffling idiots most of the time and their gift of fire is really black oozy WMD that really isn’t that useful unless all you really wanted to do is kill a lot of people with xenomorphs. Or harvest their DNA with xenomorphs. Whatever.

      7. Only girls who love their fathers like gods are taught how to run sideways away from big rolling things you can’t outrun.

      1.  #7 is brilliant.  Even watching the trailer I couldn’t figure out why she was running in it’s path.  She likely never heard how to escape an alligator either, so Darwinism was bound to catch up with her sometime.

  4. I feel sorry for these sound design guys.  They worked hard on their part.  Too bad the writer(s) didn’t make a story that made sense.

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