Gary Roger Rydstrom
June 29, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Rydstrom was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 1981. He began his career at Skywalker Sound, Northern California in 1983. Offered the job by a college professor, Gary received the opportunity to work with his mentor, Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt.
After gaining invaluable experience as a sound technician in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he went on to do sound design for the comedy Spaceballs. The sound design for Backdraft, prepared from scratch, would become the precursor for his sound for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The original sound effects from Backdraft are constantly referenced and have been used for numerous other films including The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Shrek.
Gary won an Academy Award for his work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, for which he pioneered techniques still used today for creating realistic sound effects. Rydstrom also worked with Terminator 2 director James Cameron on a new 5.1 surround mix for the original Terminator.
Gary's sound work on Jurassic Park led to further innovations, as he and his team set out to create dinosaur sounds by mixing together numerous different animal vocalizations to make the audience feel as though giant bellowing prehistoric beasts surrounded them. The Oscar-winning film was the first motion picture to be presented in DTS.
He subsequently went on to work on sound for numerous films including Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report and Finding Nemo. He won an MPSE lifetime achievement award, and regularly speaks at various sound design forums sharing his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm with aspiring sound design artists.
He made his directorial debut with the Pixar short Lifted, for which he received his fourteenth Academy Award nomination. It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2006. His debut feature film for the studio, Newt, has been put on indefinite hold. He has also directed the Pixar short Hawaiian Vacation and the Lucasfilm animated feature Strange Magic.
Rydstrom has also served as English language director on Tales From Earthsea, Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, all four films were produced by Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli.
Gary Rydstrom has been nominated for 18 Academy Awards (7 wins), 12 Golden Reel Awards (5 wins), 5 C.A.S Awards (2 wins), and 5 BAFTA Awards (2 wins).