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December 2014

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Page 22 of 51 21 POST DECEMBER 2014 interesting in this fi lm, and probably the biggest challenge, was actually the pace. The story is incredibly well developed — Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine — they created this very beautiful story that is really about families and relation- ships. It makes you think about all the things in your life, people who touched you. And the performances — the cast is kind of ridiculous. I mean, you have Meryl [Streep], and everybody performed in such an incredible way, so from an ed- iting standpoint, it's always about story, then best performances to serve that story, and then the pace. "The trick with this fi lm, though, is that you can almost think of it as two fi lms. It's two acts, like it would be on stage. The fi rst act is very fun with lots of characters and it's explosive and exciting and all these stories are interweaving. Then, it culmi- nates into this great big moment. Then you get into the second act, and it's very dark. It's very Stephen Sondheim, where there's this very bitter edge — everybody has to learn that there are consequences to get- ting all the things that they have wished for. You have all these characters running around, interweaving and then suddenly you're with a very small group of people in a very dark place; in a very claustrophobic place. It suddenly takes this sharp, right turn. So much so, that when we were put- ting the fi lm together, it was almost like we were deceiving the audience. We would lure them in with this spectacle and then all of a sudden we would hit them over the head with a very heavy piece. So, the in- teresting thing was fi nding a way to make it a bit more of a gentle turn. We didn't shy away from the lessons learned at all, but it was a challenge to fi gure out how to get the audience into that second half of the fi lm; without making them feel like they were suddenly in the wrong theater. And that was possibly the most interesting challenge of the fi lm. "We accomplished it a bit with music, narration, and with visual eff ects. It was like, every single area of the fi lm kind of helped shape that turn that sets up how we get to the ending of the fi lm. That was an interesting challenge and I'm very hap- py with how it worked out. It feels very comfortable now, yet at the same time, we in no way took the edge off the fi lm." Are you happy with the fi nal product? "I'm thrilled with this fi lm. I have a really close relationship with it and I'm just in love with it." Meryl Streep as the witch, hiding out on a movie set or actual English woods? Smith on his Media Composer made sure audiences can't tell. Into The Woods is a complex and magical musical that puts a diff erent twist on well- known and beloved fairy tale characters and stories. Bringing a broadway musical to the screen is a huge task, and sound and music do an enormous amount of the heavy lifting, both narratively and emotionally. Despite this magical world, Rob Marshall wanted to ensure the fi lm sounded real and that the audience would relate and iden- tify with the characters. This provided the mix and editorial team with a challenging and unique framework in which to create the soundtrack. — BY MIKE PRESTWOOD SMITH AND MICHAEL KELLER INTO THE WOODS' SOUND MIX MICHAEL KELLER MIXED THE FILM AT FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW MIKE PRESTWOOD SMITH AND

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