Production Sound & Video

Winter 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 31

17 Working on La La Land is an experience that I'll never forget. Not only did the mov- ie turn out splendidly, but we all enjoyed making it, too. From pre-production plan- ning through shooting, it was a constant flow of fun technical challenges, which is my favorite kind of project. In the fi rst meeting, Director Damien Chazelle, myself and the Music Department got together to discuss what the vision was for the project. We fi gured out a plan for which vocals would be recorded live on set, how they wanted to blend live vocals and playback, and what needed to be straight vocal playback. We were able to keep the produc- tion sound team to four people; myself, Craig Dollinger on boom, Michael Kaleta as utility and Nick Baxter as our on-set Pro Tools Engineer. A new idea was fl oated just before the start of fi lming that we should be prepared to record everything live, vocals, instruments and crowds. We gathered back to discuss ev- ery musical moment in the fi lm and fi gure out how to best achieve what Damien had in mind. Prop Master Matthew Cavaliero joined the meetings to ensure we would have all the instruments needed, and ready for live recording. Counting this all up, I needed to record up to thirty-two channels of analog audio. How on Earth was I going to achieve that portably, reliably and affordably? Running two Sound Devices 970s with a Mackie 1604 gave me sixteen analog inputs. Now, how to get sixteen more channels. Ryan Coomer of Trew Audio was a huge help and suggested a RedNet2 Analog to Digital Converter, which would give me sixteen tracks of Dante Audio. I ended up using two Mackie 1604s on my cart to run all the channels and get me the needed thirty-two inputs. It was exciting to get into work and put all of our plans into motion, each musical scene was like a new technical adventure. The fi rst scene up was the big movie opener, which re- quired shutting down the freeway Express Lanes connect- ing the 110 to the 105. At midnight on a Friday, the free- way was shut down so Gino Hart and the transpo team could fi ll the road with cars to create our very own LA traffi c jam. Our call was four a.m. to set up speakers and prep with the rest of the crew for a Saturday-morning rehearsal. There were one hundred and twenty cars, at least sixty dancers and one day of rehearsal for production to fi nd and fi x any issues over the next week. The following weekend, the roads were closed again, refi lled with cars, this time to shoot. LA LA LAND LA LA LAND Sound by Steve Morrow CAS Left and above: Craig Dollinger and his speaker cart for the open- ing freeway scene; Director Damien Chazelle (standing) with Ryan Gosling on piano. Photos by Dale Robinette

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Production Sound & Video - Winter 2017