Sound Mixing Seeing Him by Vanessa Bailey

One of the things I’ve most loved about making Seeing Him is that when you push yourself out of your comfort zone (as I have on a massive scale) you learn stuff. A lot of stuff.

So the next stop for me in my on-the-job film school was being involved in the sound mix with director Chris and our sound engineer Nas. As an actor I’ve done ADR before but that’s been limited to being in the booth, never seeing how ADR is then shaped and manipulated to fit the film. This time Chris wanted to look at how we could deepen a couple of key moments in the film by re-recording the lines with a slightly altered emotional focus. Very subtle, but the impact was enormous.

The technical expertise that goes into a sound mix is phenomenal and Nas did an outstanding job of polishing, refining and enhancing our sound. I’ve always considered sound to be an additional score to the film. Like terrible music, you only really notice sound when it’s working against the film, rather than carrying it to the finish line. Now I could see first-hand just how much technical work goes into lifting sound to the best place it can be.

The other thing I always notice in post-production sessions like this is how people work together.  All the best people, the ones that you know will go far, are able to collaborate. They’re strong visionaries but diplomatic, creative but respectful of another creative’s vision. They’re expert but humble. They’re skilled negotiators. They’re passionate but self-disciplined. And Nas was another such example as I watched him working with Chris to produce what he passionately wanted to be the very best sound mix he could.

There are many more things for me to learn about filmmaking. Making Seeing Him is a chalk-face, sleeves-rolled-up, no-holds-barred film school which I am so grateful to be on.

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