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A sound career choice
"Patrick Winters, a sound editor for the new motion picture Finding Forrester, will be the projectionist for the movie tonight and Monday night when it shows at the Clyde Theater. He is pictured with the basketball he used to make ball bouncing sounds for the movie.Matt Johnson / staff reporterAsk Patrick Winters what fear sounds like, and he'll tell you that it is the crunch of a kitchen knife being thrust into a crisp cabbage.Winters, a Hollywood sound editor who moved with his wife and son to South Whidbey in 1999, spent an entire evening in late 1997 giving himself the willies while editing the sound effects for the shower scene in the 1998 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.A veteran of a number of Hollywood productions, including the new Sean Connery drama Finding Forester, Winters had spent hundreds of hours alone in a sound booth cobbling together sound. But with the Psycho scene, he had gone almost too far. The sounds he and his crew created for the scene in a hotel bathroom with a tiled shower, a model, some fresh vegetables, and a kitchen knife made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck as he used a computer to synch them to the film. The most chilling of those sounds was the stabbing sound used when Norman Bates kills the young woman in the Bates Motel shower. Winters said he made the sound by stabbing a cabbage with a kitchen knife.The next day, the film's post production crew listened to the sound effects and rewarded Winters with their own expressions of fear. They said 'What did you do?' Winters said. I would have to say that was the high point of my sound editing career.Actually, Winters will hit another high point tonight, when he gets the chance to personally show his work to a Langley audience as he truly gets behind the scenes as the guest projectionist for the Clyde Theater's showing of Finding Forrester. In doing so, Winters will be engaged in two careers at the same time. Before becoming a sound editor, Winters was a movie projectionist. He worked his way through college showing movies and was a familiar face in the projection booth at Seattle's Crest, Guild 45th, and Uptown theaters in the late 1970s. In 1980, he moved to Hollywood to work as a projectionist for the movie studios. Eventually, he learned the sound editing trade, graduating from just showing the movies to helping make them.Now the owner of a local video production company, Winters occasionally works as a fill-in projectionist at the Clyde. Lynn Willeford, who owns the Clyde along with her husband, Blake, said Winters is the second Clyde projectionist to show movies he helped create. Former South Whidbey resident and Clyde projectionist Chris Weir also did movie sound editing.For Finding Forrester, Winters created dozens of sounds, including background street noise for scenes shot in the Bronx. In the movie, Sean Connery plays a reclusive novelist who takes to tutoring a neighborhood high school student. Several scenes get the characters out on the street -- a street the movie's director decided was too loud. To bring the volume down while retaining the street noise, Winters spent several days in downtown Portland, Ore. recording the gentler sounds of the West Coast city.The final result pleased the director.The Bronx is a very noisy place, he said.Winters also added bird sounds and sounds of a bouncing basketball to the film. He said his biggest sound challenge was synching the sound of a typewriter to match typewriter keys moving on screen.One sound effect Clyde patrons will not hear in the film is one Winters created as an option for the film's post-production crew. In one of the street scenes involving Connery, Winters decided to have some fun and dubbed in dialogue for a passerby, who says Hey, isn't that that 007 guy? He said crew members got a good laugh from his high-tech joke.Winters will fire up the Clyde projectors for the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows on Saturday, and for the 7:30 p.m. show Monday. "