Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Used A Cool Technique To Create ‘Otherworldly’ Voices For The Sisters [Exclusive]

As shown in the film, the Forest Sprite and Death have different outlooks on mortality — the Forest Sprite is willing to give life to those that truly deserve it, while Death sees those who are granted life as not being truly alive. Needless to say, the Sisters, as Gershin calls them, have different vocal mixes attributed to them. The engineer started with the more light-hearted of the two with the recordings of Swinton provided to him:

“Maybe it’s very highbrow thinking, but when we look at the Forest Sprite, she represents life, so I had lead-ins for a lot of specific words. Not all of them, and I did this complex de-tuning with echoes for her voice.”

When working on mixing Death’s recordings, Gershin did the opposite. While the Forest Sprite’s de-tuning caused her voice to sound smaller and kinder, Death’s was mixed to echo out bolder and louder. This was done to further represent her all-encompassing emptiness. The engineer said that making these adjustments would not only distinguish the Sisters from each other but adds a whole other layer of narrative importance to them.

“I needed to make the emotions feel like when he went to see either of them, that they were otherworldly, almost gods and also being omnipresent. When you hear it in the theater or you hear it in Atmos, it echoes around. So it’s not just on the screen, it’s everywhere.”

You can hear Gershin’s work in “Pinocchio,” now streaming on Netflix.

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