CAS Quarterly

Fall 2015

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Page 43 of 59

44 F A L L 2 0 1 5 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y Years ago when I first visited LA to attend an industry event, I encountered a workflow and culture very different from that in the smaller market of Washington, DC. In DC, multiple hats are worn by all members of the sound team depending on the project and the production schedule. No one is an editor only or a mixer only. When I arrived here, I was advised that LA is a town of specialists and being a specialist greatly increased your chances of working on a higher budgeted production. While this is still often true, it appears recently that there are more sound editor/re-recording mix- ers and supervisor/editor/re-recording mixers than previous generations would have ever consid- ered possible in the Hollywood market. and Sonic Triple Threats And with the advent of new immersive sound formats such as Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro, many major facilities and studios are installing immersive sound editing suites where editorial, design, and pre-dub iterations all occur at the hands of multiple-hat-wearing seasoned pros, blurring the delineation of duties. Recently, I questioned Craig Henighan and Michael Babcock, two incredibly successful, blockbuster-level sound supervisor/sound editor/re-recording mixers who are at the forefront of this shift in the industry, dealing with the impact immersive sound technology is having on their design and workflow to the dub stage. Having just finished work on the highly anticipated feature Fantastic 4 at the Fox lot, Craig Henighan is a triple threat. He is currently working from a Dolby Atmos-outfitted editorial and pre-dub suite where he cuts, pre-dubs, and preps tracks for the film's final dub dates where he'll continue to shepherd the project on as the FX re-recording mixer. Michael Babcock is just ramping up for his next adven- ture supervising, designing, and mixing a WB Animation feature called Storks, a follow-up to The Lego Movie. He serves as a go-to sound man, performing all three roles with the added ability of creating in both Barco Auro and Dolby Atmos. Both Michael and Craig start early to develop close rela- tionships with the filmmaker in order to act as the ears of the director as they supervise the soundtrack from picture editorial all the way through to the dub stage—where they transform their perspective from supervisor to re-recording mixer. Both design incredibly complicated, large-budget, fx-heavy films, and both are known for their own unique brand of sound design and mix. Michael, who started editing on TV shows, explains his motivation to take on such a larger portion of duties stemmed from his ambition to have the "ultimate job in the world." "I actually started supervising features for two rea- sons: I could control the budget and workflow and I could come up with a scenario that got me into the mix chair." Sighting his experience of starting in a smaller market, Craig explains that, in Vancouver, you simply did mul- tiple jobs and that experience has shaped his outlook. "Personally, I don't ever look at people like 'that person is a mixer' and 'that person is an editor,'" says Craig. "It is just sound. When I get a phone call, especially from a client that I have done shows for over and over, it's just 'call Craig, the by Karol Urban CAS MPSE tech immersive

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