With soundtracks much more dense than in the past, the present generation of moviemakers has seen an exponential growth in the number of people who work on the sound after the film has been shot. In this, the second installment of Elisabeth Weis' articles we explore ADR and beyond. Next month in the final installment we pick up scratch mixes and temp tracks.
Recently, a sound design forum that I belong to debated on what the audio levels should be in a film. I, of course, chimed in. I was surprised that there were so many different opinions. The group is a good cross section of the sound design community being made up of amateur, prosumer and professional participants. However, despite this eclectic group, there was no definitive answer. There were some guidelines and a general understanding, but still no definitive answer. So, how do you go about mixing sound to picture? I'm glad you asked!
The credits for John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) include Wyatt Earp as technical consultant but only one person responsible for all of postproduction sound (the composer). The credits for Lawrence Kasdan's Wyatt Earp (1994) list the names of thirty-nine people who worked on postproduction sound. The difference is not simply a matter of expanding egos or credits.