Q2 2023

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broken out HDMI into a converter dongle that goes to USB, so the computer and Zoom see it as a camera. That way, it's already encoded into a DV converted signal so it's all smooth. The swipe that goes across the screen is all synced up. That way, people who aren't in the studio all the time can still have a quality session, knowing what they're getting when I deliver something to their editor. CineMontage: In this context, what were the particular demands of "The Bear" and that unbroken shooting style of episode seven? Giammaria: The showrunners, producers, and editors had a clear vision that I think was there ... [on] the page, which is rare that ... [they're] thinking about sound. They were thinking about how they wanted the kitchen to sound, what place the sound of a kitchen has in the anxious, pressure cooker environment. Those tension-and-release moments were well crafted in the picture, edited, and temp'd out to us to build on. It was a rare gift because, often, sound is an afterthought. I didn't mix the pilot but had to replace some music. They sent an AAF that had two songs in one of the scenes. I asked what it was—if they were choices— and they said, "No, no, no. Both of them at the same time! They're both playing, they're fighting each other." It was a whole other thing they were doing, and I loved it. B e n j a m i n : I ' m p a ra p h ra s i n g, b u t t h e creator, Christopher Storer, said, "I want this to be so abrasive that people want to turn it off." Giammaria: It was something like that. I was a bit put off by that at first but then I got what he was saying. I think we all knew we had something special in our hands. We had to mix in our character's head and outside of his head. There were times when we were fully in his perspective, and then maybe his altered perspective, depending on if we wanted to question reality, which was fun to play with. I approached it mix-wise. I keep the dynamic range of television in a little bit of a tighter box than maybe some people would think to. I set my monitors a little lower at 76 dB rather than 79 dB to restrain the louder parts. I think if you had all these people screaming in a kitchen and you really let it roll, then go out to the alleyway where it's really quiet, leading to these giant swings in dynamic range, it could have made the show harder to watch. When they start turning the subtitles on, we all have failed. I really tried to think of someone in a living room listening at a nominal volume, being able to enjoy the show while still feeling the changes in volume and intensity. So, when I'm trying to convey a change in loudness, actual volume is the last thing I reach for. The number one complaint I get when I tell people what I do for a living is, "Why is it whisper, whisper, and then explosion." It may sound amazing on the dubstage, but we have to be a little conscious of home experience. Christensen: We have to fight everybody's television processing and the loudness compensation that they all come with. Giammaria: Who are we to tell you how to set your TV? CineMontage: Ideally, though, how would you like people to set their TVs? Benjamin: I do think that the dynamic ... [range compression feature] should be off because ... [it] really does screw with the mixes. It's not even a gentle compression. It's pretty harsh. I've been in people's houses where I've turned that off. I just don't think anybody would want a dumb machine with a clumsy limiter changing what Major or I did. We want it to be what we sent out at the very least, and then they should listen to it at a relatively good level because there's a lot of nuance in there. CineMontage: It's sensitive work. Do you find the company's structure and its artist-ownership aid your collaboration? Christensen: I think it allows us to breathe a little easier. We don't have as many bosses so you feel a bit freer as an artist without letting down our professionalism. So, we learned from a lot of top people, honed our crafts, and we don't get poached by these giant conglomerates. I do think that makes us special because I think it helps the team. ■ 29 S U M M E R Q 2 I S S U E F E A T U R E Evan Benjamin. Pat Christensen. Steve "Major" Giammaria.

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