When we first saw the the official trailer of Ford v Ferrari back in June 2019, we were quite sure this would be an Oscar-worthy film.
With A-list actors such as Matt Damon and Christian Bale playing the lead roles of Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles respictively, along with the sights, sounds and drama of the Ford-Ferrari rivalry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the film serves as a fitting throwback to motorsports of yesteryear.
While it may not have bagged the Best Picture award (that award went to Parasite), Ford v Ferrari did walk away with two awards; Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing. That doesn't come as a surprise as the film did make use of authentic V8 and V12 sounds for both the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari P2 accordingly.
But how did exactly did the filmmakers replicate the authentic sound for Ford v Ferrari? Apparently, Don Sylvester, the supervising sound editor for the film, had to go look for real examples of the exact cars.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, they were able to find several original (and pristine) examples of a GT40, but the owners weren't exactly willing to hand them over so they can record the sound of the engine while on a track.
“I knew we had to get the real Ford GT40. I was afraid if we got [the sound] from a bad library, someone would call and say, 'You failed. This is not what the car sounded like.' That fear was with me from the very beginning,” said Sylvester.
Luckily, Sylvester was able to find a guy who built a GT40 from original Ford parts. It was even certified by Ford who gave it a serial number. With it, they had to make a trip to Ohio in order to record the sound they needed for the film. They were even able to record the sound of a 1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa V12 thanks to the GT40 owner who introduced them to a collector in Atlanta, Georgia.
After they were done recording all of the necessary sounds, they had to amplify and enhance them for the film, while also keeping them as real as possible. All that hard work paid off when the film was awarded at the 92nd Academy Awards.
If you haven't watched Ford v Ferrari yet, do yourself a favor and make sure you have surround sound in your home to get the best aural experience from the V8s and V12s shown in the film.