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October 2016

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AUDIO FOR FOREIGN FILMS 38 POST OCTOBER 2016 ings were the best way to start building the sound." In the mix, Albrechtsen used Waves' TrueVerb plug-in to help match the Foley and ADR to the production sound and 'stolen' sounds that Korhonen employed. Albrechtsen explains, "TrueVerb contains a preset called Drum Room which, with tiny modifications, made the recordings feel natural. It has this lo-fi quality that makes the sounds feel like they were actually recorded in the room. That's extremely important for the documen- tary vibe of this movie." Albrechtsen feels director Kuosmanen made a bold move in choosing to forgo a score for this emotionally-complex story. "It's a boxing movie, but it's much more of a love story. Without the music, you can really enjoy all the emotional nuances and delicate details in the acting," he says. There are even several, powerful sequences with very little dialogue where the sound design does all the heavy lifting. For example, during a scene where Olli Mäki is on the train-station platform, Korhonen and Albrechtsen created a symphony of train sounds, like howling, ringing and screeching, to which Kossi contributed Foley of metal squeals and painfully squeaking metal creaks. Albrechtsen says, "In a much more traditional movie, a scene like that would have music on top, but Juho never consid- ered anything like that. He really had the courage to go all the way." Korhonen adds an interesting note about that scene. While researching sound for The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Korhonen watched old films about Finnish railroads. He saw men checking the train's wheels by hitting them with a mallet and listening to the ringing. If the wheels rang a certain way, then they were good to go. "Juho liked the idea so he included a guy in the frame behind Olli, hitting the wheels. That was the first part of that train sound symphony," says Korhonen. One sound design challenge for Korhonen was getting the stadium crowd to feel right during the culminating boxing match. Korhonen recorded extra shout-outs with the loop group, and added those to stadium crowd recordings he previously captured at a soccer match in Helsinki's Olympic stadium. Additionally, he used stadium crowd sounds from sound effects recordist Mikkel Nielsen. Even though the story in that scene is simple, Korhonen says there was a lot of trial and error in sound editing to find the right balance, with the action sequences being loud and the important, emotional moments happening in near silence. "We worked on that until the very end of the mix, to get it just right. It's about the relationship between Olli and (his fiancée) Raija, and it's about Olli being in a place where he doesn't like to be," says Korhonen. During that scene, the camera cuts from Olli in the ring to Raija in the stands. Albrechtsen was able to make a connection between them by dropping out all of the crowd sounds and just playing the sounds of Olli as we see Raija's face. Albrechtsen says, "It's a very poetic moment. What I really love about the sound in this movie are these tiny, evocative details." Albrechtsen also appreciates the sonic contrasts they created — between the busy city environment of Helsinki and the placid soundscapes of Olli Mäki's rural hometown, and between the commotion of the media covering Mäki's training and the meditative moments when he's training alone. "I really enjoyed the sonic chaos that's going on when the media arrives. It enhances another important aspect of the story — as the media circus intensifies, Olli grows increasingly uncomfortable," says Albrechtsen. The H5 Film Sound team has always utilized Foley as a strong part of their sound design, and Foley was key to expressing the realism necessary for this film's vérité style. "Pietu [Korhonen] and I share the same way of thinking about the sound and about Foley usage. We discuss feelings and colors of the sounds," explains Kossi. They feel that Foley adds more textured layers to the sound effects, and allows the sound team to play with subjectivity. For example, by capturing the Foley close-up for Olli Mäki's character, i.e. with less room on it, they could pull the audience closer to him. In contrast, Foley for the other characters was record- ed with more natural room reverb on it. Director Kuosmanen wanted to lean on Foley for the boxing sounds, like the rubbing, hitting and rus- tling sounds of the boxers' gloves and sweaty bodies. Kossi says, "Jarkko Lahti, who played Olli Mäki, his boxing included a lot of dynamics — different kinds of hits with different kinds of feelings." Kossi performed several layers of boxing gloves hitting a leather jacket. Then, leather creaking and rustling for the gloves. He performed a wet layer for the punches using a wet cloth. For harder hits, Kossi sweetened those by hitting a hard shoe against concrete. Kossi's favorite Foley scene is when Olli Mäki is in the outside boxing ring, sparring during a heavy rain fall. "I'm really proud of the wet, cruel and miserable feeling we achieved with the Foley work. It's not just about the boxing; it's about being put through ex- treme circumstances and for Olli Mäki to handle the pressure inside his head. Every sound in that scene tells the same story, from putting the helmet on, to being in a very wet boxing ring, and all the wet clothing movements and so on," says Kossi. "The amazing direction by Juho and the very creative use of handheld cameras meant that there were so many details, which gave us a lot of wonderful opportunities for using Foley." BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO Coming to theaters this fall is the animated feature Bilal: A New Breed of Hero, which won the "Best Inspiring Movie" award on Animation Day during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Set 1,400 years ago, the tale tells of seven-year-old Bilal and his young sister, who live under the tyranny of slavery. Bilal grows to become a great warrior, who speaks out against injustice and inequality. Olli Maki's soundtrack was enhanced with Foley. Olli Maki's soundtrack was enhanced with Foley. Olli Maki' Olli Maki mixer Albrechtsen

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