In Decemeber I had the pleasure on working on a lovely Feature Documentary by Oxford Film & Television called 'Dancing The Nutcracker: Inside the Royal Ballet'. The film followed the new cast of the Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker through casting, to rehearsals, to their opening performances - for some, their debut at the Royal Opera House in a proffessional dance company. Full tracklay by me, mix by BAFTA award winning Dubbing Mixer Matt Skilton and full picture post by Envy Post Production. This delightful film aired on BBC Two on Christmas day and is currenlty showing on iPlayer - you can watch it here.
Since finishing EastEnders I have been working on various Documentaries and Factual Entertainment shows, and I have also worked on a few episodes of new Amazon Prime/BBC WW Drama The Collection. I was Foley editing down at Shepparton Studios with Glen Gathard and his team. There was a lot of foley in this - Jemma Riley-Tolch (recording engineer) and Pete Burgis (foley artist) went into great detail for this show and it shows! Go watch!
I won't say too much about this because you can see my older posts for more information about the film Murmur, but it has been doing extremely well in the festival circuit including screening and competitions as The London Short Film Festival, London Lift-off Festival and most recently Cannes Film Festival as part of their "Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase: Women in Formation". The film is currently available to rent on the London Lift-Off Festival webpage. Below is Director Aurora Fernley at Cannes Film Festival.
I've been super buys so this is slightly delayed, but the short film The Reverie we made a while back funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter is now available to watch online. You can view our Kickstarter campaign here, and watch the film here!
Making this film was really enjoyable for me because the sound was so crucial to the story telling - the Director Sam Wildman is very passionate about the sound in his films which became evident to me working on our first film together, Antisocial. Sam and Producer Sian Tomlinson describe The Reverie as a "post-appocolyptic fairytale" - A young girl, seemingly a lone survivor of something, wanders around a deserted town and suddenly hears a radio static coming from a nearby barn. Assuming someone is broadcasting, she picks up the radio and tries to find better signal in order to find other survivors, following the music as it become clearer and clearer.
Although the sound was recorded well, some of it was unusable because there were lots of birds chirping in the background - we are meant to be in a post-appocolyptic world. I did remove these from some scenes using the Spectral Repair tool on iZotope's Rx4 Advanced, but in most scenes I had to mute the sync and build everything from scratch. Every single move and footstep, in the forest especially, took a while to sync up and also make sure they varied so you weren't hearing repeated effects! I also brought in the wonderful actress Joanne Gale to do some ADR for me - I needed her breaths, grunts and struggles to enhance the drama. She was fantastic at this, slipping straight back into character at the click of a finger which can't have been easy for the section where she trips and falls down a hill (filmed, I've been told, by strapping a camera to something and chucking at down the hill?)
We wanted the radio signal to be authentic, rather than just chucking on a stationary static sound effect, so I brought Sam into the studio with my mum's Roberts radio and had him move around and manipulate the arial behind the microphone and layered these all up. (director-turned-foley artist...?) I of course mixed in some library effects where needed to add a bit more variety. I then needed to mix in and out the music coming from the radio, composed by Miles Hancock, making it clearer and clearer, and in the end gradually removing the 'radio' eq + plugin automation at the end for it to merge with Miles' underlying soundtrack.
I thoroughly enjoyed working on this, and I would describe the end film as a sort of Art Film because all the elements were so beautifully executed. The Director of Photography Dave White (Head of Cameras at CTV Outside Broadcast) captured some wonderful shots, especially with the rising drone near the end; the grade by Geraint "Geggs" Abbott made a huge impact on creating the impression of a post-appocolyptic world; the music scored by Miles was stunning, with the emotion really being brought out at the end of the film; immaculate acting by Joanne and the editing by Phil Marriott in what must have been a tiring process going through so much footage - the final cut was brilliant put together.
More Behind The Scenes footage can be found here.
I have exciting news! I have just finished my first month working on Eastenders and so far I'm loving it. I've been signed for six months, 4 days a week working for BBC Studios and Post Production up at BBC Elstree. [Monday's my day off incase you need any work doing... ;-)] I am editing both the dialogue and sound effects, quite a hefty amount of work, and then hand over to the lovely Karl Von Bock for mixing.
There's been a lot to take in - not only learning the "Eastenders way", navigating my way round their networks/folder structure, memorising the names of regular effects etc (as expected I guess), but also learning the actual geography of Albert Square - Each house/shop/pub has to have the correct background atmos effects and spots (cars/market class etc) to give it a sense of neighbourhood and community. Is the house next to a slow traffic road or a fast traffic road, is it near a bus stop, how close is the market, what time of day is it, is the market even open? is it near a tube line, can you hear crowds from the vic etc. Thankfully I have my own snazzy map to refer to and I think I have got the hang of it - The regulars anyway! No complaints so far...!
I definitely feel settled now, and have a lovely team around me - everyone's been really friendly and welcoming and super helpful. All us post-ies are all in the same area so I'm getting to know the whole gang. I look forward to the next 5 months with them!
The first bit of work I will be doing in 2016 is fitting all the foley I shot with Foley Artist Lou Brown for the Sci-Fi short film Pulsar. The recording session itself, done at Fonic (Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine) was great fun, hearing everything come alive with Lou's incredibly detailed and accurate moves and footsteps and having Director Aurora Fernley there to lend a helping hand to find her envisioned sounds for certain props and surfaces was great. For example, we needed the floor of the spaceship to sound metallic but not hollow. More sturdy and industrial. We played around with a few things and eventually shoved some trousers under the metal grate and found a happy medium. Another example is the sync recording of the 'rune' falling on glass (a bone-like object) sounded too wooden (oddly) and Lou ended up rolling rocks across various stone and concrete surfaces to create the correct effect. Getting these sounds right is crucial in creating the correct soundscape needed to tell Aurora's story and Lou absolutely nailed it. They were both a pleasure to work with.
Winner of The Pitch (sponsored by Pinewood), Pulsar is a modern take on the Biblical story of Jonah: "A Peacemaker, who rejects his final mission to save an endangered planet, is believed to be cursed when a solar storm hits his spaceship" starring Daivd Gyasi (Interstellar). It is set almost entirely in space and of the spaceship itself and therefore requires a lot of visual effects. I'm almost done of the sound design aspects of the film, just waiting for final vfx to come through to finish this - and with the quality of the visual effects I've already seen, if all goes to plan at the final mix, I think the final film could be something very special. Watch this space!
Animation short film Magarwasi, for which I was the re-recording mixer, has been chosen as 'Film of The Week' on the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) website. Earlier in the year Magarwasi won 'Best Animated Film' at NFFTY in Seattle, USA, along with many other awards including 'Best Sound' and 'Best Film'. Click on the poster below to watch.
I was recently contacted by Jennifer Walden in New York, asking if I could talk to her about my favourite audio tool for her next featured article in Post Magazine - a monthly magazine, in both printed and digital editions, released in America about the wonderful world of Post Production. I chose Izotope's RX 4 Advanced - which features heavily in my editorial workflow, specifically focusing on it's Dialogue Denoiser, Spectral Repair and Ambience Match features. Click on the magazine's front page below to read the article in full.
Congratulations to director Aurora Fearnley for winning the 'Best Emerging Filmmaker' award for our Short Film 'Murmur' (see blog post below) at The Smalls Film Festival this week! The film is currently on the festival circuit and we hope for more festival success.