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November 2012

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now hear this! H By RANDI ALTMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The mix team discusses the film's sound. Hitting the road฀for฀Skyfall OLLYWOOD — A still slightly jet lagged Scott Millan was kind enough to talk to Post just a few days after getting off a plane from London, where he and his co-mixer Greg P. Russell had com- pleted the final mix on the Sam Mendes- directed Bond film, Skyfall. Yes, you read that correctly. Sam Mendes, known for more emotionally-driven dramas, like the Oscar-winning American Beauty and the Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road, takes on 007 and all his high-flying, death- defying adventures. Millan and Russell, who also kindly made himself available for this piece, call Technicolor Sound at Paramount ( en/hi/theatrical/sound-post-production) their home base. The 92,000-square-foot-building is about a year old and currently houses nine mixing stages — with one still under con- struction. There are two ADR stages, and a Foley stage, which is located just outside the new building. According to Millan, four of the larger dub- bing theaters are set up for feature work, while five of the smaller ones are for broadcast and indie films. Eight of the nine rooms are outfit- ted with Euphonix System 5 consoles, while the remaining one houses an Avid ICON. Four-time Oscar-winner Millan (Gladiator, Apollo 13, Ray, The Bourne Ultimatum) was excited to be working with Mendes again, especially on such an iconic franchise. "I am so privileged to be a part of one of these movies. I never thought growing up, watching Bond films, that I would have a chance to be part of one. It's every kid's dream." Co-mixer Russell, himself nominated 15 times by the Academy, agrees. "It was a real privilege — I've been a fan of the franchise my whole life." POST: You were a co-mixer on Skyfall, along L-R: Scott Millan, director Sam Mendes and Greg P. Russell. with Greg P. Russell. I know you and the film's director, Sam Mendes, have a long history. When did this relationship begin? SCOTT MILLAN: "I had the great oppor- tunity to work with Sam on his first feature film American Beauty 12 years ago now, and we have been collaborating together since. About three years ago, Sam reached out and told me he anticipated his next film would be a Bond movie. He asked if I would be a part of it. I said, 'Whenever and wherever.'" POST: So the plans fell 18 Post฀•฀November฀2012฀ into place, and Mendes went off and shot the film. When did he make that 'whenever, wherever' call? MILLAN: "About two years ago we cre- ated the schedule, since the release date for Skyfall had been set. Then, this past spring, I flew over to London — with one of our sound editorial supervisors Per Halberg — and met with Sam and our picture editor Stuart Baird. We talked about the film, and I got to see some of the footage for the first time. In July, Greg and I did a temp dub in London at Pinewood Studios. We came back to the US and about a two weeks later point was on nine reels, so there was a lot of content. Because of my background with Sam, I have a good understanding of his tastes and sensibilities. It was convenient to be working this physically close to Greg — I could go back and forth between what he was doing on the effects stage and the dialogue stage. This allowed us to steer the ship in the right direc- tion from the very beginning." POST: After the pre-dubs, you and Greg headed back to London? MILLAN: "Yes, we final mixed at De Lane The mixing team did pre-dubs at Technicolor Sound at Paramount and the final mix at De Lane Lea. started pre-dubs." POST: So the pre-dubs were back at Technicolor? MILLAN: "Yes, the plan was we would do all of our pre-dubbing here in the states, on our stages, so we could shape the content and make sure all the dialogue and sound effects were in good shape. Also, because of the schedule constraints, we needed to be working on multiple stages at the same time." POST: How was the work broken up? MILLAN: "Greg was pre-dubbing the sound effects, backgrounds and Foley while at the same time I was in the adjacent room pre- dubbing all the dialogue as well as principal and group ADR. We were working on Stages 1 and 2, which are mirror images of each other. This allowed us to work in a very fluid manner with access to each other's content." POST: How long did pre-dubs last? MILLAN: "Greg was pre-dubbing for 23 days, while I pre-dubbed for 15. The film at that Lea in Soho. This was very convenient for Sam, because as we were mixing the soundtrack he was completing the color tim- ing, digital effects and some of the picture editorial nearby. "We arrived in London on a Sunday and set up the stage on Monday. We got our pre- dubs and music tracks up and started listening to the material and getting acclimated to the sound of the room. On Tuesday we started the final (on an AMS Neve DFC console), and that's when Sam came in. The film at this point was conformed and rebalanced to eight reels. We final mixed for about a month, and we were on the dub stage every day." POST: How was it working at De Lane Lea on the final dub? Was it difficult going from your home base to another studio to work? GREG RUSSELL: "They treated us really well. The stage took a bit getting used to, and it wasn't until we took a reel we mixed out to a theater that we could feel good about what

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