Post Magazine

May 2013

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ferent forms. Shiffman grew up watching the original series, and having the opportunity to work on TMNT for a new generation is a dream job for him. He and his team wanted to put their own creative stamp on the show, so they started from scratch to build up a library of unique sounds for it. Their approach was to embrace the odd and be experimental with the sounds. "These weird, off-beat choices somehow are the ones that get stuck in your head," says Shiffman. "Think of The Six Million Dollar Man sound. We are going for that kind of effect that will get ingrained in the audience. From the start, I always told my editors that we want kids running around with bandanas on their heads, and cardboard weapons, making our sounds as they're playing Ninja Turtles. That is a jackpot for us." The show's executive producers, Ciro Nieli and Peter Laird, are very conscious of the importance of audio, reports Shiffman. "They realize the power that is has in the storytelling," he says. The producers used adjectives like quirky, weird, funny and hyper-real, to describe how they wanted the show to sound. Shiffman and his team create that hyper-real sound by focusing on the detail, from the gritty footsteps of the Turtles on the New York City streets to the occasional subway car passing by in the distance when the Turtles are hanging out in their lair. There are also arcade games and a pinball machine in the lair that are in demo-mode — their blipping, beeping and pinging sounds can be heard in the background. Most of those sounds would get lost in the mix, but Shiffman says Nieli and Laird aren't afraid of quiet moments that allow those details to poke through. "For me, designing and ultimately hearing that level of detail for television feels really unprecedented, especially for children's television." Sound design plays a huge role in the show. Donatello, the inventor in the Turtle group, is always creating new tools to help the group complete their missions. Those inventions, which are a collection of everyday things assembled to make cool gadgets, have a homemade sensibility that Shiffman feels kids can relate to. Jeff Shiffman and team work on the Warner's lot doing the sound design and mix for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on Nick. They just got an Emmy nomination. Post0513_032-37-audioRAV3finalread.indd 33 Post • May 2013 33 5/3/13 4:46 PM

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