The End of the Tragically Discarded Little Dreamboats

So the project has finally ended and along with it the group, rightly named the Tragically Discarded Little Dreamboats, as that is what we all are on a somewhat insightful and completely over-dramatic level. Alongside project completion came a video with no original sounds at all. Every. Single. Sound. that is heard in the video is designed, recorded and then replaced by the driving force of the dreamboats, Riley Guerin, Zoe Stewart, Alex Reaper, Wyatt Nicholls and myself.

Overall, I learnt a great deal from this project. I can’t actually watch a movie now without at least wondering and paying attention to the detail of sounds and wondering how/where/when/why they were made to produce the sound that is heard by us. Something that really stuck out for me was when I watched David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II the other day. It occurred to me that many of the sounds would be incredibly difficult to come by and record properly and as I listened more and more closely I could begin to identify how specific sounds were made. If not for this subject, these findings would have probably gone unnoticed. Before I delve into things, please enjoy a photo of Zoe recording footstep SFX. Continue.

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The first skill I found most interesting was the recording of Automated Dialogue replacement (ADR). Voiceovers and imaging for radio has been an interest of mine for a long time and ADR as an extension of this was largely interesting to me.  It took quite a few takes, re-takes and editing to get dialogue spot on and it was interesting to manipulate alongside the movie. As a group, we were originally going to follow the script and create a serious reproduction of the original video. However, after some playing around, we created a semi-parody version as the dialogue sometimes continued without showing the character actually speaking. This allowed for lines to be snuck in and re-arranged, etc. to create the parody. When recording the ADR we needed to have the video in front of us to try and speak the lines at the same time that they are spoken on screen. When recording the ADR we had a variety of issues related to phase and unsuccessfully saving projects. Although these set backs were painful, we managed to complete the ADR on time and to a relatively good standard. If I had had more time I would like to edit the audio a bit more closely to line it up a little better, but for the most part, I think it works.

Our next main focus was definitely Foley. If you watch our clip, it is obvious that ADR and dialogue was the most important aspect, however, there were lots of subtle and not so subtle sound FX that were present in the scene. I had a lot of fun designing and coming up with ideas for how to recreate sounds and create sounds from scratch! My favourite, for example, is the fact that we have layered a bean bag hitting the ground and then sliding for the part of the scene where Loki hits the floor and then glides along it. It was really interesting to me to play around with this little bit for a while to see just how realistic I could make it feel. Our foley recording wasn’t without problems as projects usually aren’t. We managed to lose a whole recording session through corruption of files and other various back up problems. However, we did bring and have the same equipment we had used in the previous days and brought these in to re-record samples again. This was a major setback and a massive pain but we did it in time and to a relatively good standard in my own opinion. However, this was a great lesson in time management and working under pressure as the clock really wasn’t in our favour with these problems occurring.

Our last focus and probably the thing that ended up turning out the best was the score we created. As we had parodied the scene to incorporate several lines about liking Jazz music, etc. we wanted to recreate the Marvel theme song to play in the background after a certain point, then to climax as we rolled to the marvel logo as an outro. Riley mainly worked on this and as a great producer he was quite successful in recreating a jazzy, upbeat version of the song that fitted our needs and fitted the video perfectly!

Anyhow, thank you for reading all the boring bits, enjoy the video and try not to cringe too hard at Zoe’s pitch shifted voice!

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