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October 2016

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Page 38 of 51

AUDIO FOR FOREIGN FILMS 37 POST OCTOBER 2016 have been a fan of her work. She tells proper human stories, about people who may exist on the fringes. These are more peripheral stories." Case in point is Tomato Red, wherein Wilson presents a story of people existing on the edge. The town is set on the cusp of the Ozarks, in a vast open valley. It's part of America where industry has been and left. The populace and their possessions are beaten down by sun, wind and life. "These are people on the edge, and sound was a big part of evoking that. You have things that are broken and rusted, and swinging in the wind. All of those flavors are very clear in the way the images were com- posed," says Brady. Taking inspiration from the visuals, Brady and Fanagan stitched a soundscape of rusty creaks and squeaks, rumbles and hums, of distant dogs barking and train horns blowing. They even played with the intensity of the cicadas and crickets, ramping up the chirping as the drama builds. "The way a cricket or a field of crickets sound, that very much feeds into where a character is at emotionally," says Fanagan. "As an Irish sound editor, to be able to dive into that type of texture is great because we don't have crickets and grasshoppers here. So that is quite an exotic sound for us." Fanagan notes their approach to sound design always involves bringing new sounds to a film. For Tomato Red, he captured gnarly sounding refrig- erators, air conditioners and fans. Fanagan record- ed distant dog barks late at night to capture the natural echoes when possible. For Sammy's clunky old car, they needed hot tick sounds for the engine cooling off, so Fanagan "took a few toasters from around the building and experimented with them in the ADR booth here." After playing with pitch processing, those toaster ticks were cut with real hot tick sounds. "Since Sammy's car is such a part of his character, we wanted to have as much variety, texture and detail as we could," he says. In Tomato Red, the characters wreak havoc on a golf course, so Fanagan and Brady headed to a local golf course to record appropriate golf cart sounds. As fortune goes, the establishment was replacing their golf cart fleet. Fanagan notes, "They really didn't care what we did with the golf cart. We were told to just go off somewhere and come back when we were done!" The two-man team divided the duties of driving and recording. They attached Jez Riley French (JrF) contact mics to the engine, attached DPA 4060 om- ni-directional mics to various points on the cart, and used a Sennheiser MKH 60 boom mic. They recorded cart-bys, tires on gravel, tires on fairway grass, and the engine-mounted contact mics picked up interest- ing servo sounds. Fanagan explains, "One of us was always hanging off the golf cart while the other one drove as insanely as possible. The course was on the edge of a mountain, so it had some really good hills." Brady jokes, "It was incredible what the G-force feels like when you're hanging off of a golf cart!" Tomato Red is ultimately a dialogue-driven film. Working closely with Wilson, Brady and Fanagan wove their sounds up through and around the poetic language, always consciously highlighting the emotional themes of the story, like loneliness, escape and disempowerment. "The language is always front and center, and we created sound to support that. Between the photography, the direction and the edit there was so much on-screen that was just screaming at us to fill with sound and reinforce. It's not sound for sound's sake; it's sound in response to picture, and drama and direction," concludes Fanagan. THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MAKI Winner of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival "Un Certain Regard" award, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is a black and white biopic of Finnish boxer Olli Mäki, who challenges American boxer Davey Moore for the 1962 World Featherweight Title. For post sound, Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen chose supervising sound editor/sound designer Pietu Korhonen, who studied with Kuosmanen at Helsinki Film School. Korhonen works at H5 Film Sound ( in Kokkola, Finland, owned by one of Europe's most sought after Foley artists, Heikki Kossi. Kossi was Foley supervisor and artist on the film. They're joined by re-recording mixer Peter Albrechtsen. Kuosmanen's initial direction was to be very minimal, with only dialogue and precise, focused sound. He referenced the 1967 Bob Dylan documen- tary Don't Look Back by director D.A. Pennebaker. Korhonen says, "Juho [Kuosmanen] was aiming for very naturalistic, documentary and raw sound to match his cinéma vérité-style visuals. After seeing the first cut, it was clear that we should aim for another direction to make the film more alive with sound. Also, the film is without a score, so that gave us a lot of possibilities. We could give the black and white film more dimension and color, and direct the audience's attention using sound." During filming, Korhonen had a digital recorder on-set to capture the chatter of the actors be- tween takes. Since those recordings had the exact acoustics of the space, they sounded very natural in the soundtrack. He says, "Those 'stolen' sounds are something I really like to work with. Those record- Ardmore Sound's Brady Tomato Red Foley artist Kossi

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