Posts Tagged ‘sound’

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing

March 19, 2011

Having worked with Sidney Pollack and Oliver Stone among many other large Hollywood players, Claes continues to re-iterate how lucky he has been to work with such amazing minds. Claes got his break somewhere along the line at a small production company in LA and was given the chance to move up and work on projects he says he never would have been possible if he had worked his way up in any other larger post production sound company. In his 6 years working in this industry he has scored dozens of trailers, been re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor for features, shorts and television. In 2001 The Cinema Audio Society nominated him in the category of  “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing” for his work on No Way Out : Fall of Saigon.


Make the cut

March 18, 2011

Music composing and editing has always been a daunting idea to me. I’ve never been that talented musically but, “by breaking down your needs into tonality, rhythm and dynamics” before tackling your project for the score you are working on (original or not) you are able to take it step by step, make smooth, nicely toned edits that work for the content of your scene. Tone, rhythm and dynamics are the three kings of film scoring. If the tone feels right go with it. If the rhythm is off, or the dynamics of your music don’t work and you’ve painted yourself into a corner and you can’t edit the picture (it’s in picture lock)–and you have officially gone nuts because, A. you are an editor and you can’t seem to find any possible way to edit your way around the problem and/or, B. you are on a deadline: hide it. Find a way to hide it. Don’t fix it–because you have already proved that impossible (or at least given your time frame). Don’t keep trying to fix it. Hide it. Fade it out. Cover it up. Or, flat out lose it! Cut it out. You’re an editor. You cut.

The sound mixer hears it all

March 18, 2011

Ever heard of a “group walla!”?

Before I tell you what it is…it reminds me of getting on the Chinatown bus in NYC to Boston. In the summer there is always a very sweet Chinese woman selling bottled water to people before they get onto the bus: “Wallah, wallah, one dollah! Wallah? Wallah, wallah one dollah.”  I learned today that her voice comes through at about 85db, perhaps 90db if she is raising her voice a little bit. Did you know that when you go to the movies, everything you hear is between ~40db (that’s quiet) to an absolute maximum 105db (total exploding raucous calamity), but most of it hovers around 85db, just about the level that we are all used to. The level of a human voice.

A group walla is when a group of actors are put together and are asked to speak in the background, to be recorded for background conversation in a scene. The resulting banter can often be quite hilarious, not that you’d ever hear it in the movie you are watching, because of how mixed down it is. But, the sound mixer hears it all. Sound mixers hear everything.


sound board


March 18, 2011

When we get back from lunch we will jump into some hands-on exercises and start working with some juicy sound waves!

Until then, chew on this little tidbit that Claes Nystrom threw out there:

“A musical score suggests the untold and substantiates the obvious.”

Dialogue, Music and Effects

March 18, 2011

After getting the basics of film sound recording, editing, scoring and mixing — and a background on Claes! (you can check out some of his work here and we are moving onto more in-depth detailed workflows in the post production process of sound editing.

The main stems of the workflow are: Dialogue, Music, Effects that all get mixed down to the Printmaster–but more on that later!

“Let’s imprint once and for all that ‘dialogue is king’, and that no sound ever takes precedence over the
overall story, no matter how proud it may make us feel. It’s not about us, it’s about the movie.” Claes Nystrom

Hollywood Film Sound for Desktop Filmmakers — Day one!

March 18, 2011

Claes Nystrom: Knows his db's

“Films are 60% audio and 40% picture”
-Stanley Kubrick

Claes Nystrom is giving a workshop on sound for film here at CDIABU.

What are the differences between the Sound Editor and the Sound Mixer in a movie?
How can I improve my storytelling through sound?

Technological advancements in film and film sound mean:
Crews are shrinking
Roles are expanding
Competence is increasing and spreading
Workflow linearity is constantly changing, and becoming more efficient.
Might one person one day handle all post production tasks single-handedly?

All the more reason to understand as much as possible from pre to post, is what I’m thinking.

“We don’t mix for total reality, we mix for hyper-reality” Claes Nystrom

It’s going to be an exciting two days.

Stay tuned!