“Can you hear the forest from the trees?”
Another majorly important part of post-production that doesn’t get the credit it truly deserves in the eyes of first time filmmakers is the amount of time and effort that goes into the sound design. From the dialogue and ADR to effects, folly and backgrounds, a film is really split 50/50 between two senses, what you see! And what you hear! Therefore your sound design is equally as important as your shots, edit and color combined!
Check out: FilmSkills.com – Intro to Audio Post
“Say it again Sam!”
ADR (automatic dialogue replacement) is basically just that. If the location sound quality is sub-par, you will need to do a bit of ADR. This means calling your actors into a recording session where they will voice over their lines in an attempt to match them up perfectly with the footage. It is important to try and get your actors/characters back to the emotional state they were in at the time of shooting in order to replicate the moment. This can be easier said then done, as it requires not only acting, but the timing of each word and syllable in order to match the movement of the lips. However, the audio quality will shine through once they’ve nailed it.
During the dialogue edit the technician will sync all the audio, picking and mixing boom tracks, lovelier tracks, and ADR tracks in order to get the right sound quality, tone and timing from the characters, and maintaining levels and consistency throughout the film.
Foley and Effects:
“It’s the little things!”
When it comes to replicating the world in which your charters live, it’s not a replication as much as a decision on what is pertinent and should subtly stand out to an audience. Because Foley is so noticeably not noticed, the audience doesn’t even know that the sound happened, even though it was crucial to maintain their suspension of disbelief. This is as simple as how characters shoes sound on certain types material, to the sound of a piece of paper being crinkled, or the rifling through a purse. Whatever, the audience should be aware of, while being unaware, that they are aware of it! Does that make sense? I think it does.
It’s a good idea to hold onto all the props and costumes for the sound designers to take advantage of. Having the real props can be very helpful, but more artistic sound decisions are always a possibility as well, such as: The lightsaber sound effect was developed by sound designer Ben Burtt as a combination of the hum of idling interlock motors in aged movie projectors and interference caused by a television set on a shieldless microphone.. Good sound designers are notorious for creating effects by taking one thing and making it sound like something completely different and appropriate.
“It’s all about atmosphere!”
Background sound is exactly as it sounds; it is the world surrounding the characters, a busy street, a deserted diner, the woods at night, a babbling brook, or a ship passing in the distance. Essentially, they are the sounds and noises that fill out the world behind the dialogue and effects; they may also be stylistic or artistic in nature depending on the scene.
Check out the article: http://filmsound.org/synctanks/ for an in-depth look at sound design.
“Music soothes the savage beast”
Music drives the mood of a film. Whether it is a lighthearted comedy or a tragic tearjerker, it is through music that an audience becomes enthralled in a scene. Because music can control emotions it must be handled with care and finesse. You have three options when it comes to the score of a film, an original score, a soundtrack, or a mix of both. Purchasing the rights to songs can be expensive, keep this in mind as you think about the music in your film. It is cheaper to buy the rights and have someone perform and re-record the songs then it is to purchase the rights to the original flat out. If you know any musicians this is a good way to go if you simply must have that pop hit in your movie, otherwise I recommend your third option, which is finding a talented young modern composer to create a digital score for your film. Search creative commons for some great links to free music and rights.
“Everything on the level”
Once all the tracks and elements have been laid out and leveled as good as possible, it must now be mixed and mastered. The mixer will go through every second of the film making sure that all the elements are leveled and placed exactly as they should be. Once, this is done, they will export the final mix and hand it back to the editor who will then place it back over the finished edit.
Check out: Audio Series: Mixing! samandniko