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In case you haven’t seen it yet, Sound of Metal is a film that follows the journey of metal drummer and addict Ruben (Riz Ahmed) as he begins to lose his hearing.

Riz Ahmed as Ruben, shirtless and covered in tattoos, playing drums


Amazon Studios

It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has been winning many awards, and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. And I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t get a bunch of noms (and probably wins) this upcoming awards season.

Basically, the movie is great and here are some behind-the-scenes facts about it:

1.

Riz Ahmed spent five days a week for seven months working with American Sign Language coach Jeremy Lee Stone to prepare for his role.

Riz Ahmed as Ruben signing in American Sign Language


Amazon Studios

“My preparation for this film was a privilege. It wasn’t taught. It was a joy and it has changed me and enriched my life,” Ahmed told Variety.

2.

Stone, BTW, also portrays the ASL teacher in the film…

Jeremy Lee Stone as an ASL teacher, signing in front of a white board for a class


Amazon Studios

3.

…and was director Darius Marder’s creative assistant during production.

4.

Ahmed and Stone became such good friends during the process that Ahmed actually attended Stone’s wedding.

Stone and Ahmed together at a party


Darren Eagles / Getty Images

5.

Ahmed wore auditory blockers deep inside his ear canal that emitted white noise for certain scenes.

Ruben struggling to hear things


Amazon Studios

He told USA Today, “I couldn’t hear anything, including the sound of my own voice.”

6.

He also learned to play the drums in seven months for the role.

7.

Ahmed and Olivia Cookie (who plays Lou) actually played in a real night club in front of a real audience.

8.

Cooke said that her and Ahmed bonded over the “sheer terror” of having to really perform as a band.

9.

Paul Raci, the actor who plays Joe, is a C.O.D.A. (Child of Deaf Adults) and is a hearing person who grew up with deaf parents.

Joe sits with Ruben to talk about his program


Amazon Studios

Raci, a breakout star in the film, has been winning many accolades for his performance.

10.

He’s also a member of the Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles…

11.

…and the lead singer of a Black Sabbath tribute band called Hands of Doom ASL ROCK.

12.

The games Diane (played by Lauren Ridloff) and her students play are real ones Ridloff brought from her personal experiences to the film.

Lauren Ridloff as Diane, playing a game with drums in class


Amazon Studios

Ridloff was a teacher in real life for 10 years before becoming an actor.

13.

Before production, supervising sound editor Nicolas Becker brought Marder to an anechoic chamber — a room designed to absorb all sound — so they could experience what it’s like to not hear anything, just the sound of their bodies.

14.

The sounds Becker created for Ruben’s cochlear implants were based on description.

Ruben has his cochlear implants tested


Amazon Studios

According to Becker, “Audiologists, from what people say, have modeled the cochlear implant sound. So, I listened to that a lot, and I tried a lot of things, many different software and plug-ins, trying to find the best solution.”

15.

The film was actually in development for about a decade before getting made.

16.

And finally, this is filmmaker Darius Marder’s first feature film as a director. Previously, he was best known for writing the screenplay for The Place Beyond the Pines.


Focus Features / Via giphy.com





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