Matthew Wood is the Supervising Sound Editor at Skywalker Ranch. Not only does he oversee the sound for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," but he is the voice of General Grievous. I had the opportunity of speaking to Wood about his sound work and voice work as the notorious henchman of Count Dooku.
What goes into voicing General Grievous?
It's a great part of this job. Both Dave Acord and I do voices on the show. That's a real bonus for us because we're huge "Star Wars" fans. We just put on our actor's hats and do that. Dave has a recording setup here in the room that he records his voices on. I've got a little booth that I record mine in. It's a nice blend of technology and acting. We get to process our voices with some sound design like what we do with Grievous. I get to go yell into a microphone and then turn it into something usable.
When you record Grievous do you think about the character at different levels of continuity? Do you try to capture him in different periods of his life?
When I did the part back in "Revenge of the Sith" I didn't have a lot to go on. It was our first introduction to the character. As we've gone on, there's a level of frustration in Grievous I try to portray now. He's never quite been able to achieve what he wants. He's been given this army of droids that are somewhat ineffective against Jedi. I think he's more and more frustrated with Dooku. In previous episodes he's even hung up on Dooku on the hologram because he's mad. I think frustration is something that builds in the character.
Were you Grievous in Genndy Tartakovsky's "The Clone Wars" cartoons?
We were working on "Revenge of the Sith" when Genndy was producing that. George hadn't cast the part of General Grievous yet in "Revenge of the Sith." What he looked like had been approved but not the voice. We actually didn't approve my voice as the character until Genndy was already finished. Genndy had to cast a couple different actors in the 2D animation show of "The Clone Wars." We wanted to go back and fix it, but the production cycle was already done. I've done everything subsequent to "Revenge of the Sith" like the video games and the newest "The Clone Wars." I enjoy that series. Skywalker Sound did the sound for it here. I was watching it as we were working on "Sith." Grievous wasn't cast in "Sith" until really late in the game.
Tell us about General Grievous's role in the upcoming episode "Massacre."
Grievous is always a pawn to Dooku. Obviously Dooku has some vengeful tendencies towards the Nightsisters and Mother Talzin. Grievous is going to enact some dark justice there.
What else can we expect to see in the "Massacre" episode?
It's a fantastic episode. It's very dark which a lot of people will like. My favorite sound moment in the episode is something Dave created. I really enjoy the Mother Talzin voice as well as daka. He did some amazing voice processing on that. All the black magic and green sort of smoke sound effects look fantastic and sound great. [Supervising director] Dave Filoni is really happy with what's been coming out of this show creatively.
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Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
- General Grievous
- Count Dooku