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Van Wert native provided sound for 'Sharknado' movie PDF Print E-mail
Monday, August 05, 2013 12:00 AM


DHI Correspondent

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VAN WERT — The recently-released television movie, “Sharknado,” has been all the talk on social media and talk shows since it first aired on the Syfy channel on July 11.

Van Wert High School graduate Lisa Ries had the opportunity to take part in creating this much-talked-about film. Ries works in Los Angeles for Asylum Studios as the supervising sound editor for all of its films, including “Sharknado.”

“It’s been crazy,” said the young sound artist. “I have been seeing ‘Sharknado’ everywhere. We do movies like this all the time, so I am not sure why this one took off.”

The disaster film, starring Cassie Scerbo, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and John Heard, portrays a horrific situation where a waterspout tornado lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them throughout the Los Angeles community.

The plot includes incredible and unbelievable scenes where main characters throw bombs into the sharks from helicopters in an attempt to destroy them. The most unrealistic and humorous scene in the film portrays a man getting eaten whole by a falling shark and proceeding to cut through its stomach with a chain saw to escape unharmed.

Even when Ries is out in public, she will hear people talking about this interesting, horrifying and laughable film. The premiere of the film was watched by 1.37 million viewers and was a trend on Twitter, including discussion by celebrities.

Ries’ parents, Dennis and Marilyn Ries, travelled all the way from Van Wert to L.A. for the premier of the company’s newest movie. A second airing a week after the premier was watched by 1.89 million viewers, an increase of 38 percent. A representative of the National Weather Service jokingly referenced the film and recommended safety procedures in the case of a sharknado. Regal Cinemas held midnight showings of the film in roughly 200 theaters nationally on Friday.

Ries has worked for Asylum Studios for more than five years and oversees all sound effects for all projects created within the company. Since 2008, Ries has seen the studios grow from a small staff of eight employees to 30 with additional help from other freelance workers. Now with a hit like “Sharknado,” the studio is preparing for a sequel film.

“We know what kind of movie we are making,” noted Ries about the unrealistic plot of the movie. “It is so stupid that it is funny. We go into it having fun. It’s not a blockbuster film and no one else can get away with a movie like this with their big budgets.”

Ries had a particular interest in “Sharknado” because of her original dream to become a meteorologist. Following high school graduation, Ries attended the University of Oklahoma to pursue that career dream but she soon realized that this wasn’t what she wanted to spend her life doing.

During a music class, the young student realized that she was inspired by film scores and wanted to work with sound. Ries decided to start from scratch with a new major completely opposite of where she began. A couple years after moving to L.A., the college graduate found a job with the unique film company where she has remained ever since.

“We are all still in a daze from the craziness and excitement this movie has generated,” remarked Ries. “Now, we are gearing up for the second movie.”


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