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A Japanese author & small town sheriff team up to solve a murder mystery in San Francisco.  Watch the video for new footage!
A Japanese author & small town sheriff team up to solve a murder mystery in San Francisco. Watch the video for new footage!
536 backers pledged $54,950 to help bring this project to life.

New Rewards & Meet Our Sound Supervisor Carlos Sanches

Today's theme is POST PRODUCTION SOUND!

First off, some NEW REWARDS:

Have you ever watched a scene set in a bustling hospital? All the sounds of heart monitors, doctors and nurses walking around, etc. is all added during post-production! Another thing that's added in are announcements over the PA system. At the $400 level, we'll record your name in either a PA announcement or on police radio in the movie. You can be in the movie, without ever having to be in the movie!

Here's a fun example thanks to our friend "Dr." Goh Nakamura:

In the mood for something more mischievous (and inexpensive)? For $300, we'll record a 10-second subliminal message written by you and bury it deep in the soundtrack! You may not be able to hear it without cranking up the volume to 11, but you'll know it's there… If you'd prefer to record it yourself, no problem! Send us the audio file and we can do the rest.

These new rewards also come with any $100 Reward level which includes tickets to the premiere, signed dvd, and more.

And don't forget, every pledge at $300 or above gets you this bonus gift - Directory of World Cinema: American Independent 2 by John Berra:

POST SPOTLIGHT: SOUND SUPERVISOR CARLOS SANCHES

It's my pleasure to introduce our supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Carlos Sanches.  Carlos and I have been working together for a long time; he did the post sound on my previous two features Surrogate Valentine and Daylight Savings--both of which he did in his off hours while he was mixing shows at Warner Bros. Post Production.  Among his many credits, Carlos does the post sound for Dragons: Riders of Berk, Bob's Burgers, Mad, Thundercats, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and recently won an Emmy for his work on Ben 10: Omniverse!

Post-production sound is one of my favorite parts of the moviemaking process.  The movie never really feels complete without it, and when you have a talented sound designer like Carlos on board, his work becomes an important part of the storytelling.  Sound is more than just a technician turning dials and balancing out the audio levels--it's an art form that takes an experienced hand and ears sensitive to every nuance! 

I spoke with Carlos to try and shed a little more light on what is an often misunderstood part of the filmmaking process:

DAVE: I'd like to hear about your creative process.  When you watch a "picture locked" version of a scene, how do you decide what sounds are missing, what sounds to take out or adjust, and how to enhance the experience for the viewer?

CARLOS: Great question, and there are so many answers to it!  Typically, the sound recorded on set is primarily only picking up the dialogue from the actors.  That is the job of the sound person on set, get good clean dialogue.  The rest, is up to the post sound crew to build, fill in and enhance.  The first thing that needs to be built is background ambient sound.  For example, city sounds, birds, wind, room tone, refrigerator noise, crickets, all that noise you hear all around you all the time.  That is NOT being picked up by the mic on set, so we have to re-create it.  Every footstep the actors take, is re-walked on a foley stage, or sometimes done with a sampler and keyboard.  Of course, there are "hard sound effects" such as vehicles, weapons, fight sounds etc that all are done in post sounds.  Even sounds like doors opening and closing, on set they may sound weak and thin, so I'll cut in a bigger, cleaner sounding door to make the soundtrack sound better.  The viewer has to not notice that something sounds bad or incorrect.  Most importantly, the dialogue has to be clear and understood.  Anything that detracts from that has to be removed, cleaned up and filled in with something else to create a seamless experience for the audience.  I always say that if I did my job right, no one will ever notice what I have done.

DAVE: What do you find is the biggest misconception about what you do as a supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer, and "sound designer"?

CARLOS: I think the biggest misconception is that those three jobs you just mentioned are the same thing!  They are all very different disciplines that have to work together cohesively to make a movie sound good.  Sometimes, one person is wearing all three hats, but one is a cowboy hat, one is a ball cap, and one is one of those jester things with little bells on the end.  A supervising sound editor schedules every aspect of the sound job, and sometimes may even edit some stuff.  A sound designer records, manipulates, and creates sounds appropriate to the film to help tell the story.  A re-recording mixer is like a painter, taking all the different colors of sounds (dialogue, music, sound effects) and creating a sonically appealing track that makes the movie flow in all the different directions the director wants to take it.

DAVE: You've kept busy doing the sound for plenty of big TV shows and movies, but you've also done great work for independent films as well.  What keeps you coming back to the indie world (since I KNOW it's not the money!):

CARLOS: Ha!  I have to say it's mostly about always keeping busy.  Earlier in my career, I was constantly hustlin' for the next gig, and it's really never stopped.  Even though I've been fortunate enough to work for a big studio, I really like to keep busy on fun and interesting projects.  And it's also about relationships.  I've become friends with most of my clients, and we love doing the the same thing, making movies.  So when the next one comes around, I want to be a part of it! 

DAVE: In my experience, sound is often overlooked on indie productions.  What advice would you give to indie filmmakers to make sure their post-production sound work goes smoothly and stays on budget?

CARLOS: I love this question.  Sadly sound is often overlooked, and an otherwise good film can be ruined by bad sound.  As many have said, sound is 50% of the movie experience.  My humble plea to indie filmmakers is two-fold.  One: hire a competent location sound mixer.  Use boom mics and lavs, be aware of the ambient noise of the location you're shooting in and try to minimize it.  Work with your sound person as much as you do your DP, make sound a priority on set.  If you do this, Post Sound will go MUCH smoother and will be MUCH cheaper!  And Two:  don't try to edit and mix the sound yourself in Garage Band.  It take years and years of training to be able to design and mix a film, I'm definitely still learning even after having done this for almost a decade.  There are plenty of talented editors and mixers who are willing to work with smaller budgets, and it can make all the difference in the success of your film.  Just please put a bit of the budget aside for us, remember, we make half of your movie experience, but we don't get half of the budget, so be nice.

Couldn't say it better myself!  Thanks, Carlos!

I'm about to hop on my webcast with filmmaker Michael Tully (who just might have a meltdown today).  So be sure to join us at 11:30AM PST at http://bit.ly/13VVmSg - Full schedule on Facebook.

And help ensure we don't end up with a good movie with bad sound by telling your friends to check us out!  http://bit.ly/1bCEI1a

Thanks Everyone!

Dave

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