You Probably Love 'Fight Club' Because of Its Sound Design

Tyler Durden is the restless, testosterone-fueled single white male’s epitome of cool, and Fight Club is the cinematic bible for DIY anarchists and snowflake-haters all over the world. A new film essay from Daniel Netzel suggests that his über-masculine mystique likely wouldn’t have been nearly as potent were it not for the two goofy old men who created the sound design for David Fincher’s counterculture classic. 

In a new video, the essayist behind Film Radar argues that Fight Club‘s many strengths are built on the foundation of Ren Klyce and Richard Hymns’ excellent sound design. Their methods included inventing new foley sound effect techniques from scratch, where other films might have used established tricks of the trade. The story behind Klyce and Hymns’ brutal punching sounds is wild, involving chicken carcasses and walnuts. Crunch.

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In one part of the essay, Netzel overlays the punching sound effect used in films like Die Hard and Kindergarten Cop over Fight Club, and the result is, well, embarrassing. “Without the proper sound to match the visuals, it just doesn’t carry the same weight,” Neztel argues. Watch that scene and absorb his whole argument in the video below.

See more of Daniel Netzel’s work on his website.


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