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November 2012

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we were doing. I couldn't hear the surrounds that well at De Lane Lea and yet because we pre-dubbed the entire film both dialogue, effects, backgrounds and Foley at our home facility at Technicolor at Paramount, I knew not to touch the surrounds based on what I was hearing on the stage there. We brought the mix back to Technicolor to do all the print mastering as a final quality control, and it played beautifully on our stage. All in all, everything worked out great." POST: Greg, can you talk about how you worked with Mendes on the mix? RUSSELL: "It's all about story, and sup- porting that narrative is key. We sat with Sam before mixing a reel and played all the music for the reel. Then all the dialogue and all the sound effects, so if there were content issues notes were taken. Scott would go through his dialogue and music pass and then I would go through the effects on the reel. "Then we would go scene by scene and detail the mix. Since Scott has done all of Sam's films, he understood Sam's sensibilities better than the rest of us. Scott's a fantastic mixer, and together with the film's editor Stu- art Baird, and Per Halberg and Karen Baker Landers, the supervising editors on the film, I believe we delivered a mix that we all are very proud of." POST: Scott, since you have the history with Mendes, can you talk a bit more about how he likes to work? MILLAN: "Sam requires that we play the whole film back for him multiple times, so he can get an overview of what's been created. particular and has really good taste. I love working with him." RUSSELL: "What I truly appreciated in working with Sam is that he has a true perspec- tive of his film. He clearly knows what he wants to hear and, more importantly, what he doesn't want to hear in every single shot. So that map is laid out for us to create. " POST: You mentioned finishing on the DFC, but you typically work on a System 5. Does it affect you going from one console to another? MILLAN: "I mainly work on the Euphonix, but I've worked on the DFC, and the Harrison. All are great platforms. In the operation of mixing, the ability to be as fluid as possible without thinking about the tool is most impor- tant. You just have to get acclimated. These are all tools and we need them to work, but mix- ing is more about sensitivity and perspective." POST: Mendes is known for telling more emotionally-driven stories. How was it working with him on full- out action thriller? Did that affect The final mix was done on a DFC console. But before that we start by working through each reel, one at a time. Sam wants to hear all the materials prepared for the reel before we start mixing. First, all of the music, then dia- logue and then sound effects. He's extremely the way you guys worked? MILLAN: "No…we did talk about his vision of telling this story, and we had the opportu- nity to do one temp dub where he gave us a very good overview of what his thoughts were. Sam has an excellent ear, and he focus- es on the use of sound to sup- port the subtext of telling the story. So it's not always obvious the direction he'll take with the content. Often, he'll use the soundtrack to steer the audience differently than some film- makers might. Normally mixers start off anticipating that it's the responsibility of sound to mirror what we see on the screen, but with Sam that's not necessarily so." POST: Scott, do you and Mendes have a shorthand at this point? MILLAN: "Yes. I am always thinking of his perspective, how he uses sound. We do have shorthand, and he trusts that we are on the same page. It's a very rewarding experience. Every time we work together I feel I've learned something else about storytelling." POST: Speaking of having a shorthand... you and Greg Russell have worked together before. That must have helped on this film. MILLAN: "Greg and I mixed together for the first time on the film Salt a couple of years ago. But it's a small community, and we've known and respected each other for a long time. Greg and I made the commitment to team up together at Technicolor in Sep- tember 2011." POST: Can you talk about some of the most challenging scenes in the film? MILLAN: "There were all sorts of chal- lenges due to the length of sequences and amount of material. For Sam the nuances in the quietest scenes are as important to the story as an aggressive 10-minute action sequence. In Skyfall, I believe we were success- ful in allowing the soundtrack to play proudly with style and perspective throughout. "Another collaborator of Sam's for the past 12 years is composer Tom Newman. Sam loves the use of music in his films and features music in the mix... but never to a distraction. Tom created a beautiful and fit- ting score for Skyfall." POST: So it's Bond, the Mendes way? MILLAN: "Yes. This film is very much a Sam Mendes Bond film. It looks different; it sounds different, but it's all Sam, his sensibilities, his touch....I love it." Post฀•฀November฀2012฀ 19 "Normally, mixers start off anticipating that it's the responsibility of sound to mirror what we see on the screen. With Sam that's not necessarily so," says Millan.

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