SFP: 'Robin Hood'

May 21, 2010 5:48 PM, By Mel Lambert

MIXING RIDLEY SCOTT'S LATEST WITH MASSEY, GIAMMARCO

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From left: supervising music editor Del Spiva, supervising dialog editor Margit Pfeiffer, co-supervising sound editors Mark Stoeckinger and Wylie Stateman, dialog/music re-recording mixer Paul Massey, effects re-recording mixer David Giammarco, sound effects designer Ann Scibelli, re-recordist Dan Sharp and music editor Joe Bonn

From left: supervising music editor Del Spiva, supervising dialog editor Margit Pfeiffer, co-supervising sound editors Mark Stoeckinger and Wylie Stateman, dialog/music re-recording mixer Paul Massey, effects re-recording mixer David Giammarco, sound effects designer Ann Scibelli, re-recordist Dan Sharp and music editor Joe Bonn



























“It’s going to need a lot of work,” acknowledges dialog/music re-recording mixer Paul Massey, as he turns from the screen in the Cary Grant Theater on Sony Pictures’ Culver City lot to face other members of the sound and picture crew. Massey has just rolled a faders-up mix of the re-conformed Reel 8 for Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, and there are several dialog elements that sound at odds with some new tracks that have been synched to picture following a re-sequencing of the film’s final battle scene. There are also places where the music ends or transitions too early, and sound effects require sweetening.

In the world of high-action motion pictures, such last-minute changes are not uncommon, but can be a major time challenge for any re-recording and sound editorial crew. “We saw a lot of changes in the structure of the film as it evolved,” confirms Massey, who worked on Robin Hood with effects re-recording mixer Dave Giammarco.

Following the run-through for the re-edited Reel 8, changes were discussed in minute detail with picture editor Pietro Scalia. The director is absent from the previewing session due to off-site meetings at his production company Scott Free. He returned to the dub stage later that same afternoon with additional notes and comments on the evolving soundtrack.

“Ridley likes a rich mix,” stresses Massey, who also worked previously with the director on A Good Year and Hannibal. “The first time we play through each reel during our faders-up pass, we consider the flow of scene and story structure. Should music lead the sequence? Should effects take this moment? Intriguing story lines demand the audience’s attention to dialog, yet music and effects create an excitement that should not be underestimated.

“Ridley is highly experienced in story and scene structure,” he continues. “We’ll work through the reel and present him with a mix for comments. He gives us a constant flow of creative ideas. It’s up to us to pick the gems from his ideas and implement them. If the overall shape of a sequence is working, he’ll be happy and leave the fine details for us to sort out.” Wylie Stateman and Mark Stoeckinger served as co-supervising sound editors, working with supervising dialog editor Margit Pfeiffer, sound effects designer Ann Scibelli and music editor Del Spiva.

“Premixes play an important part in the re-recording process,” Massey says. “We all know a mix can go straight into a final without premixes if the circumstances dictate, but a refined mix requires premixing. It’s a valuable process that allows raw tracks to be prepared with EQ, compression, panning, noise reduction, etc. Then when a final mix begins, we can concentrate on what is truly important: story! The print-master session can then serve as a third pass, allowing an overall ‘mastering’ of the final soundtrack.”






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