NASA Mars Exploration Program

How Oliver Tarney designed the sound of 'The Martian's' monster villain: Mars

For Oliver Tarney, sound designer and supervising sound editor of "The Martian," the Red Planet was more than a landscape. It was a monster.

"There's no human that's a baddie or a villain in this piece, so Mars becomes the villain," said Tarney, whose job encompassed collecting or creating the sounds heard in the film.

For the Record
Jan. 21, 12:05 p.m.: A photo caption in this article says that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is in Pasadena. It is in La Cañada Flintridge.

Tarney started his career as a guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter — following in the footsteps of his father, an...