MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2021

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m ot ion p ictu re s o u n d e d i to r s I 23 on features. We had a crew of 25 or 30 people on Dick Tracy. We cut it at Lantana when it was first built. We just took over an entire hallway over there. I had everyone stick their heads out of their doors and we took a picture. I had to adjust everyone's heads up and down to get them all in the shot. Working with Warren Beatty was interesting, he was very artistic. He knew what he wanted and went after it whole- heartedly. It was a lot of fun to work with him. My brother Patrick sponsored me with the union when I first arrived here in the US. We used to bring people into the union by telling them they were going to be a librarian; they always needed librarians and after the show, they could branch out into assisting and editing. I love that the unions are really helping the workers. What were your favorite projects that you worked on? DD: My favorite projects were the big ones, everyone was in a good mood. On A League of Their Own (1992), the director Penny Marshall just kept cutting and cutting on the project. Tom Hanks came on the mix stage to talk to Penny one day. He wanted to talk to her about cutting out his character's limp that he had spent a long time developing for the show. If you look closely, you can still see it in a few shots. I used to be the one who pulled all the sound effects for the editors to cut on my projects. It was a big job, and it took a long time. I had to pull them from quarter inch film. You get to know the library really well and are able to go through it fairly quickly. You have Foley credits on your IMDb. Tell us about that? DD: When I was up in Toronto, I used to do a lot of Foley walking. Nobody knew what Foley was back then and I enjoyed doing it a lot. I used to go between the US and Montreal for work quite often. Don Rogers and I were doing The Big Chill. The Foley was already finished when they cut in a scene with two of the main actors jogging up a long gravel path. It was a long shot. I went over to the Foley stage and Don agreed to record the Foley while I walked it. Can you believe I was walking Foley for Don Rogers? I was about halfway through the shot when I missed a footstep and I told Don to back up about 20 feet and punch in. We got to the end of the shot on this take and Don said to me, "Jesus Christ, have you done this before? I don't know if you know it, but you are really good at this and you could do it for a living." We sort of formed our own union in Montreal. We wrote a paper that stated rates for different classifications, as well as rates for Saturdays and Sundays. The producers didn't like it at all, but we pushed it through, and the producers eventually signed it. How do you feel about your sound crew? DD: I always made sure the crew wasn't being abused. I thought of the crew as family and kept them safe from my superiors. I never felt bad about standing up for a fight if it was for my crew. It felt good to help them out and hopefully, they will go on to treat the people that work for them nicely. I like to hire the same crew if I can. You know what they do and they know what you do. It makes it so much easier. A friend was working at Warner Hollywood and we went across the street to Chandara for drinks. She told us that she was working for a very mean director, he was yelling and screaming at everyone, including her. I told her next time he yells at you to laugh at him, just burst out laughing and don't stop. If he questions you, about it, just say "I thought you were joking. Nobody would yell like that, so I thought it was just a joke." She went back the next day and he started to yell at her and she burst out into laughter. He stopped and couldn't figure out why she was laughing at him. He completely stopped yelling at people after that. What was the hardest project that you have done? DD: The James Brooks movie I'll Do Anything with Nick Nolte and Albert Brooks was the hardest movie I ever worked on. It started out as a musical and after the first preview, they took out the musical part without doing any reshoots. It was a major conform. Our first temp dub was like a final mix, we had two stages going 12 hours a day, seven days a week. We were completely burned out by the end. What director stood out as your favorite to collaborate with? DD: I am very proud to have worked with Nancy Meyers, I supervised the sound on all of her directorial efforts: The Intern, It's Complicated, The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, The Parent Trap. We were a good team together. She was very conscious of everything, including sound. She made things very hard for the ADR editors. They got "slapped" around a lot. Nancy loved recording ADR and working with the actors, but she didn't like picking the select takes, like eight or nine. I would tell her she had to make choices, but she refused. We would end up doing this on the stage and it took a very long time. Nancy was always sweet with Kim. Any parting words as we wrap this interview up? DD: The feedback after my Career Achievement Award was amazingly good. My family members were impressed, and I talked to some old friends. I really loved my career in the film business, and I'm really happy to have retired when I did.

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