• Apr 15th 2009 at 7:47PM
  • 1
Richard King won an Oscar for Achievement in Sound Editing earlier this year for his work on The Dark Knight. If you think this isn't something that qualifies as green car news, stick with us for a minute. See, the sounds of the Batpod, that motorcycle-like machine gun platform that Batman rides in the movie are built, in part, from the sound of the Tesla Roadster.

Even though the Batpod itself is powered by a conventional internal combustion engine, the moviemakers wanted the machine add tension to the chase scenes in two ways. First, Batman is very exposed on the bike, unlike the heavily armored Tumbler, so we're more worried about the hero. Second, by using a Shepard Tone, the director could continually increase the pitch. The team wanted to start with something real before playing around on a computer to create the tone, and the Roadster's electric motor provided part of the underlying tone. Compare the audio clips below (provided to us by Tesla) with the sound in the movie.

If you have access to the two-disc Dark Knight DVD, you can learn more in the "Evolution of the Knight" featurette on the bonus features disc. At about minute 5, the video starts describing the Batpod and, at 9:30, it gets into sound design. There's a brief video of the Tesla recording session at minute 10.


Hear more clips after the jump.

  • No. 2 - Tesla Roadsters are in production, albeit in small numbers still, and the company is still with us (for now at least). We've driven it and it's a wonderful sports car - even disregarding the powertrain. Factor in that electric drive and it's amazing. Unfortunately, recent financial issues have threatened the company's future. The investors seem committed to making Tesla survival so far.

[Source: Tesla]





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    • 1 Second Ago
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      • 6 Years Ago
      See now watching the movie, I imagined that the batpod was an electric vehicle. I also looked at some of the images (as I was curious to know what they were going for) and it looks like it would just have an in wheel electric motor and battery, huge wheels, huge batteries. As for range I also imagined that Wayne enterprises had crazy high energy density batteries, like nanofiber, or eestors :P It gave no sound of a traditional gas bike. Cool to find out that the sounds were inspired by an EV :)