MPSE Wavelength

Winter 2023

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96 I M PS E . O R G JW: Being a re-recording mixer, as well as the sound supervisor, is it difficult to shed a sound that you and the crew have worked so hard to achieve? WP: Ah, no. JW: Okay, so that's a no. (Laughter) WP: In the mix, if a sound is getting in the way, I don't find it difficult to drop something that we worked hard to create. As long as the final mix is serving the story, it's a very simple decision. JW: I notice that Elvis was mixed in Atmos. How long ago did BBS transition to Atmos? What was the impetus? WP: We moved to mixing in Atmos probably three years ago, and I have to say I would not go back, ever. I now mix everything in Atmos, even short films. The monitoring system is so great, and the ability to stem out your dialogue, effects, music, all the deliveries, has been streamlined. I absolutely love the creative expansion of environment for music and all the directionality you can give objects. I think it is one of the greatest advancements in post-production sound in the last 20 years. LV: Atmos became a delivery requirement for a lot of streamers, even before it was a theatrical requirement, because they were future proofing. They didn't want to come back to us in say, five years, and get us to re-do a mix. WP: Around the time we did Little Monsters (2019), we realised the deliveries were heading this way, and we knew we had to be prepared. I was a little worried at first and then, once I got into it, and understood the signal flow, it was just like ... wow! JW: You've worked with the same crew for many years. What role does trust play? Or is it more about them having ESP, and meeting your very high standards? LV: I think it's a combination of all those things. We do have longstanding relationships, and that comes down to trust, shorthand, and taste. You can't work with people who don't have similar taste, otherwise you're fighting against their ideas. But I think our team has very similar taste, and a genuine love of movies. WP: I know when we're reviewing a sequence, I can quite often use my mouth to replicate a sound effect. I can turn to Fabian Sanjurjo, for example, or Rick Lisle or Andrew Miller and go, "I want it to be like this." And I'll use my mouth to make the sound effect, or the size of the sound or even the pitch, and I know that they will pick up that clue and run with it because they get it. So, it's a wonderful shorthand. LV: Even in dialogues, you've been working with Derryn Pasquill, Jenny Ward, and Nick Breslin for so long that they know, without asking, your expectations. WP: Exactly right. We might do an ADR sequence, and have 12 takes of a particular line, I know Derryn Pasquill is going to choose the right one. LV: And some of our team goes back 35 years. We worked with Fabian at the ABC, and here we are, still. We've always said that we'll be together in the Old People's Home for Sound Editors going "What did you say?" (Laughter) JW: You've also got some new members of the team. Did you want to elaborate? LV: You mean our children? JW: Yes, the dynasty continues. LV: We try as much as budgets will allow to bring on new people to train up into wonderful sound editors. We've got to the point where we are now working with… Well, what can I say? It's a family affair. We now have our two sons and a niece working with us. WP: The BBS team is very open to training, to sharing their experience and knowledge. When we bring a new editor into the fold, they bring new energy, and creativity, and different sensibilities to the workflow. We're all getting a bit older, and we need to hand over the work at some point. Hopefully, we're offering up something of value to the new team. LP: The beauty of having a lot of work is the ability to expand and train new people. Having been supported by others in our early careers, and had our careers shaped by wonderful filmmakers, we are very happy to give back. Like all of us who have spent our lives working in cinema, the job is anything but routine. At the end of the day, it has brought us great joy, and Wayne and I wouldn't have it any other way. Wayne, Libby & Andrew Bock, MPSE Awards, 2011

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