Ghosts of Ghostbusters: Jim Bullock

By Di Golding

Mailed on August 27, 2014

Dear Jim Bullock
Sound Editor

Dear Jim,

I could be in another room, on another floor, in another building while Ghostbusters is on, and even if I only hear ten seconds, I know exactly what's happening. Maybe that's because I've seen the film at least a hundred times. Or maybe it's because you transformed what must have been a thousand hours of audio tracks into the soundscape that helped make Ghostbusters one of the most beloved films of the last thirty years.

From the very first scene your work sets the literal and figurative tone for the entire film; the librarian softly pads between rows of books over a seemingly benign score. The wood cabinet drawers slide open and catalogue files shuffle into the air. Then horns, a xylophone, and a Theremin amplify the tension as the librarian realizes she is not alone. Her footsteps quicken to a run, the score builds to a crescendo and we hear a deep, other-worldly roar pierced through by her blood-curdling scream that fades into Ray Parker Jr.'s titular song.

You were responsible for assembling layers of sound that have now become iconic; from the eggs rattling in their carton, then popping and frying on Dana's kitchen counter; the green blob cackling and gulping and breaking plates; the _whoosh _as ghosts are incarcerated in the vapour trap. The assorted beeps, pulses, and hums of equipment, the deep growls of ghost hounds, and the splitting crack as the heavens open up and threaten to rain hellfire down on New York city.

All this noise, and yet you made sure the cacophony never drowned out some of the most quotable dialogue in comedy history.

By the time you came to Ghostbusters, you were already an expert, having spent the 50s and 60s as sound editor on dozens of shows: I Love Lucy, Peter Gunn, _and even one with a ghost protagonist, _My Mother the Car. _You tried your hand at acting in the 80s, appearing in _Knight Rider, The Wonder Years, and my favourite bad movie, Rocky IV. Those gigs alone are enough to make my inner child geek-out. Add Ghostbusters, and I think you just might be my new hero.

Rest in peace,


comments powered by Disqus
(% endraw %}