MPSE Wavelength

Fall 2023

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68 M PS E . O R G any of the scenes with crowds? Or was all the walla cut from libraries? JY: We didn't record many loop groups. Instead, we searched for suitable vocals from old magnetic tape recordings to create a sense of the era. I think we were quite successful in achieving that in this film, thanks to the help of many people. My mentor, Lai Qizhen, shared his recordings from a film he made in the early 1980s in winter in Northeast China. They were done with a Nagra recorder and were fantastic. Also, Jian Zhang, a musician/composer friend, provided us with ambience sounds he recorded in the Kanto region, which were a perfect fit for this film. Completing the sound work for a film requires the creative contributions and efforts of many individuals. I hope everyone enjoyed being a part of it! EM: What was your favorite scene to work on in this film? NZ: In a scene on the apartment balcony, the main actor's dialogue reflects the oppressive, desolate atmosphere of the coldest city. The sweeping aerial view, accompanied by rhythmic wind, represents their concerns for comrades and longing for loved ones. The actor's restrained yet emotionally charged dialogue becomes a source of strength for the female character. Soothing music briefly calms our hearts amidst the crisis-filled night sky, reinforcing our beliefs. JY: My personal favorite moments are the intense gunfights that take place on the bustling streets and in the narrow alleys. Perhaps it's because I have a deep appreciation for the raw power and impact of those gun sounds. EM: What do you hope people remember most about the sound of Cliff Walkers? NZ: In the final scene, the execution of the captured protagonist is accompanied by the haunting sound of a trumpet, intensifying the tragic atmosphere. The heavy gunshots and echoing sounds throughout the execution ground amplify the cruelty of the sacrifice. The protagonist's final breath portrays his unwavering trust in his comrades and acceptance of his fate. JY: I personally liked most of the film's sound, although there were some areas for improvement. It's a learning process, with both regrets and rewards. I'm glad to see positive feedback online, particularly regarding the impactful gun sounds. It's satisfying when our sound work leaves an impression on people. Cliff Walkers, 2022 Golden Reel Award winner of Feature Foreign Language. Left to right: Li Xinghui, ADR editor; supervising sound editors Nan Zhao & Jiang Yang, Han Junsheng, Foley artist.

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