The Sound Engineer Behind Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Tron Has Passed Away

Star Trek: The Motion Picture, one of the films Serafine had a hand in.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, one of the films Serafine had a hand in.
Image: Paramount Pictures

Frank Serafine, a respected sound engineer and composer with a wide-ranging career in film, has died at age 65.

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As reported by the Antelope Valley Times, Serafine died Wednesday when he was struck by a motorist on Palmdale Boulevard in California. The driver of the vehicle, unnamed by the report, did not sustain any injuries.

Beginning his film career in the 1970s, Serafine worked on engineering sound effects for some of the most influential science fiction of all time, with work featured on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and both Tron films. Serafine’s career also crossed over into videogames, including the original Grand Theft Auto. In 1990, Serafine won an Oscar for his work on The Hunt for Red October.

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Audio designers and sound engineers are often unsung geniuses in film, creating work that shapes the entire production but often goes unnamed. Serafine, in particular, pioneered digital sound design techniques and shaped the audio landscape of filmed science fiction at large. He’ll be missed, and his work should be remembered.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

What a senseless way to die, being struck by a car. Mr. Serafine and other sound engineers really add to the movie, tv, or video game experience and most are better for it. RIP.