Point & Click of No Return - ADR Session Reflection 2

Audio team hard at work

So after we'd recorded Gales parts with Kim, the director decided that he preferred the voice of Ashley, (she was the girl who read the script as a guide on set). I guess even though Kim was quite professional it was just not what the film needed. We all agreed, so we got Ashley in to record her parts of the phone conversation. She had never done ADR and for her first time, she did really well.

Since we had issues with loud humming from the TV in our last session, we organised another TV and got that all set up. Ashley seemed to deliver her lines like the director wanted, she was relaxed and very natural. Since the scene was a phone call with her on the other end, we didn’t see her in any of the shots and therefore we did not need to line her voice up with any dialogue, we simply had to focus on the performance. This was a reasonably straightforward process and we were done pretty quickly.

Ashley Lindsell (2018).

The next actor Sean arrived to voice the part of the assailant. He played the role in the film and had a bit of acting experience but this was the first time he’d done ADR. The first few lines were the hardest, especially making sure the dialogue lined up with the visual but once he got it, he ran with it. He had the intensity and lots of range as an actor, taking on board feedback and adapting well. The whole team were engaged in making sure that the timing lined up as well as making sure that the performance was on point. As director Jamey had first and last say on everything, but he still made sure the whole team was happy before moving on to the next take. I realised that the rest of the audio team were watching the screen and basing their opinions mostly on the timing so I closed my eyes as we took the take and then opened them during the playback so that I was basing my opinion more on the performance and then checking the timing after. Both approaches have pros and cons, I just thought it was good to have people in the group focusing on different things.

Sean Hutton (2018).

After we had finished all Sean’s lines we bid him farewell and got set up for Ashley (yes there are 2 Ashley’s) to record the main parts for the lead role. This proved to be quite problematic. Ashley still had the flu and while everyone else was stressing about getting the right take I was withdrawn and quiet before I came out and said. “It doesn’t matter how many takes we do, I can hear the mucus in his voice, I can hear that he has the flu and I think we should call it a day and come back when he’s better.” We all agreed and went home telling Ashley to get some rest and get better with the plan to bring herbal tea and Sudafed for him on the next session.

Jaxon Arundell coaching SamSon

We finally got the chance to record the voice acting for the films main protagonist. After our previous experience in the C24, we decided it might be smarter to record the voice acting in the S6 studio, it might not have matched the audio we already had done all the scenes in the apartment and still had to do all the torture scenes and inner monologues. So it would be ok if the sound was slightly different, we set up the same microphones with the added bonus of a soundproof room.

This ended up being a really tough session for everyone involved. Ashley still had the flu and you could still hear the mucus in his voice. Actors being sick had already put us behind by 2 weeks and we needed to get this done. We tried some warm-ups with Ashley and we got his voice sounding good once the drugs kicked in. Once we started tracking we faced an entirely new hurdle. The actual acting, his performances were not as emotive as I felt we needed for the story and we seemed to be going round in circles. I voiced this and the director agreed although what he was looking for in the performances was different to what I was looking for. We asked him to try and revisit a past trauma in his mind and to think about this while he was acting, this seemed to help a bit and we kept moving forward through the dialogue.

We finished early and decided to use our remaining studio time to try and make his inner monologues sound different to the rest of the dialogue. Our idea was to make his inner monologue sound like an older version of himself. We achieved this by simply bringing the formant down 2 semitones, this made him sound like an older version of himself and it was different enough from the dialogue that the audience would be able to tell the difference. This was my first experience using Melodyne and even though I hate how overused it is in modern music production but I can see how when used subtly or for creative purposes it can be a powerful tool.

A quick look at our Melodyne settings

With the ADR finally finished and a little bit of playing around with levels and effects we were really happy to call it a night and we knew that the arduous task of mixing was ahead of us.

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