CAS Quarterly

Spring 2019

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30 S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y scenes. There was also a lot with the effects, making sure the bird sounds were the correct bird sounds ... It was very helpful to have Jimmy Chin, who is a climber, there to help police that kind of stuff. And also to give the audience the sense that there's not just birds, but birds can fly out of crevices at any time. They went out of their way to show footage of birds swooping through, and that could kill you if it startles you and you slip. So it was important to use sound to point that out. That was one of the more fun parts of what I had to take care of. This was really a lot of "less is more." Yes, totally. Coming out of that, as you pull things back whenever you need to hit the "more" part of it, you hit it hard, and it has more of an impact. You can hear birds, but they're quiet and distant, but when there's one flying in front of your face 'cause you're on a mountain, that sound being pushed has a greater impact than if you're throwing everything into it. The same with the Foley, it had to be very real sounding, and in a lot of cases, you don't hear it or you barely hear it, just a tiny bit of it, and it's just enough for it to feel real. This is a very subtle mix. For me, it's harder. The scenes that are supposed to be quiet or minimal are way harder than just throwing a bunch of stuff in, because you can do that a little easier. It's definitely more challenging to do the quieter stuff. Joana said usually the mixer is in the next stage over, and the Foley stage was like seven hours away. We didn't have any issues with the distance at all. We had the benefit of time. We mixed for at least three weeks if not more, so it was very easy to pop them an email. I remember a little walking scene where Alex had one foot in a cast and one foot in a flip-flop and he's walking on a hospital floor, three very specific sounds that only a Foley artist can do justice to. And we had the luxury of emailing them on Tuesday and waiting to get it on Wednesday. We didn't have to run down the hall and yell, "Do this now!" We could wait, which was nice. Were they happy with the process, too? Joana, Roland were absolutely wonderful. We did a lot of detail work, but very minimal. It takes a lot of time but it's all kind of the same stuff. One thing that did help was that I had at least a week to do a SFX premix. There were a lot of FX that had been cut, and it was helpful for me to have that week to work with Debra Wallach, supervising sound editor, just the two of us on SFX. I could say, "Hey, we're missing something here," or "What if we tried this idea here?" When you're premixing, you don't have to worry about the dialogue and music and that's a little bit easier. Having that time really benefited us when we jumped into the final mix. Tom didn't have to worry about much. I didn't have to worry about much. Things were at least in the ballpark, and on a lot of projects, you don't have that time. Everybody wants things done in five days. We can't do that, it will sound like it was done in five days! So I had a week to just focus on the SFX by myself and that was very helpful. Also, when you're not under stress, you can think more creatively, you can say, "Let's add a car here, or a bird there, or some bees..." When you're in the final mix and everything is flying at your face, you don't have time to be creative and to help, you're just dealing with what's right in front of you. And the end product is different, so that was one thing that helped us a lot. TOM FLEISCHMAN CAS: Re-recording Mixer This was a very subtle film in terms of the mix. For me, the most exciting part of mixing this film, in addition to all the subtle little detail stuff in the Foley and sound FX, was the score. I thought the score was brilliant and exciting, and really brought everything to life in the film. Obviously, making all the dialogue work and the breathing, and the stuff that was on the mountain and all the interview work was fairly straightforward, but mixing the score was really a treat for me. I'm still working on a System 5 Euphonix, but that's being replaced starting next week to System 6. This was mixed in the box using the hybrid. In terms of the dialogue, it was very straightforward. All the tracks were well-recorded, and that was just a matter of there was some ADR breathing that was done as he was climbing, and most of that was even recorded with a lav. We had that and some areas where there was some ADR additional breathing and voiceover. This was the fourth film I've done with (Elizabeth) Chai. I did two of her films before she and Jimmy met, and I have a working relationship with both of them. Also the editor, Bob Eisenhardt, did a brilliant job I thought, just beautifully cut. All the elements just worked, the excitement of the story, the cinematography was awesome, the whole event was an amazing feat. And when you put that all together with a terrific score, good sound effects, well-recorded dialogue, you've got a winner. I knew the first time I saw this film that it was going to blow people's minds because it's so unusual, and such an exciting story.

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