CAS Quarterly

Spring 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 79

28 S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y Jane by Karol Urban CAS MPSE Biographical documentaries often fit a very rigid mold of classic narration and found footage and/or dramatic recreations. This has the effect of either putting the viewer in a detached third- person perspective or creating a factual-based surreal adaptation of the subject's reality. Jane does neither and is viscerally enchanting. Director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Kid Stays in the Picture) channels the innovative Jane Goodall spirit by combining with incredible skill hundreds of hours of actual footage much of which is over half a century old of Jane in the jungle observing her beloved chimpanzees. Jane is the only narrator and there are only a few sparsely littered interviews with Jane seen as she is in present day. We observe Jane Goodall as other humans and the animals must have observed her in Gombe watching the chimpanzees. We learn of her incredible groundbreaking field work, her relationship with her first husband Hugo van Lawick, the National Geographic contracted photographer who is responsible for the footage, and the chimpanzees with whom she spends her life. Melding all of this rare and incredible material together is the phenomenal Philip Glass, who created an expansive score. The effect is that of a looking glass wearing back into time as a present observer. The project was a true collage combining silent historical footage masterfully woven and accompanied by narrative read cut piece meal to provide a smooth narrative. This provided a unique challenge and great creative opportunity to sound. The team up for the task was: production mixer Lee Smith, re-recording mixers David E. Fluhr CAS and Warren Shaw, scoring mixer Derek Lee, ADR mixer Chris Navarro CAS, and Foley mixer Ryan Maguire. Production audio consisted of Jane Goodall speaking about her life. Lee explains, "My main concern was to send Brett Morgen back with all I thought post would need, along with lots of extra Ambo [ambience] tracks to add color to Brett's canvas." He shared that the biggest challenge he faced was with the ambience of Tanzania. He explains, "One of the main issues many people do not notice within the East African region is how the background sounds change hour by hour. For example, even after finding the location of the home quiet away from road noise, the garden was large and left in its most natural state. Background bird sounds change within half-hours, along with the lush insect population. The vox recording was long with lots of breaks, so it was important that I recorded many Ambo tracks to allow post to give the final vox edit the feeling it had been a natural conversation." This no doubt helped in the final mix. David Fluhr also treated narration differently from her interview sections. David details, "I spread her slightly LCR to give it some power … and a sonic difference to her on camera interview segments." As the historical footage was recorded without sound present, all sounds had to be reproduced. Thus, this required detailed sparse but integral background voices in ADR and copious amounts of Foley to describe everything from close-up termite movements to Jane chasing chimpanzees through heavily wooded jungles and up mountainsides to an an all-out chimp war. Chris Navarro recorded the ADR and Ryan Maguire mixed the Foley at Anarchy Post with artists Joanie Rowe on feet and Tara Blume on props. Ryan exclaims, "It was fun because we got to do everything … we did an ant! … [There was] tons of stuff." And yet the team completed the task in 2-3 days. Ryan explains this was only possible because of the crew. "Once you get a crew that has worked together for a while, you develop a communication without speaking. We fly. I like to move. We just go … It keeps [the artist's] energy up, too. I try to bring them up and keep them going." Ryan has worked with Joanie now for 11 years and Tara for seven. ADR mixer Chris Navarro CAS, Diane Warren, re-recording mixer David E. Fluhr CAS, Tommy McCarthy, and CAS Foley mixer Ryan Maguire at the 54th CAS Awards. Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages MEET THE WINNERS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CAS Quarterly - Spring 2018