PopMark Media’s November “Confessions of a Small Working Studio”: The Sound of 'Lovely Molly'

Nov 7, 2011 6:37 PM, By Lisa Horan

In the end, the sound of Lovely Molly was a result of the persistent communication between the sound-design team and Sanchez. Not only did Sanchez spend a good deal of time at the studio, but there was a lot of back and forth and sharing of different sounds via digital files.

“The process was based largely on trial and error,” says Sanchez. “They would send me little bits of room tones and ambient and background noises, and I would tell them if it was too high, too low, needed to be more sparse or more dense, and they were on it.”

Because there is no real technical language that enables a director and sound designer to communicate about desired sounds, the team really had to try to get into Sanchez’s head to figure out where he wanted to take the sound. “The project was like construction job,” says Hill. “We had to take each piece of the movie, try to get a good sense of what Ed was trying to accomplish, and construct sound frame by frame, making sure that each piece fit together perfectly.” The good news was that Sanchez was “a dream to work with. Not only did he know what he wanted, but he gave us the creative freedom to do what we needed to do to get the job done without feeling the need to stand over our shoulders every step of the way.”

The trust paid off. According to Sanchez, “The fact that several first sound passes are actually included in the final version of the film was a testament to how well Kevin and Matt listened to what I had asked for and took it to an even more successful level.” In addition, Sanchez attributes the success of Lovely Molly’s sound to the team’s willingness to be open and try new things that they may never have tried in other films before. “They were completely open to the idea of doing something unique, and that really served the film well.”

In fact, Sanchez says that Lovely Molly is the only movie he’s done in which some of the reviews specifically highlight the sound. “The sound really is an important piece of the puzzle," Sanchez says. "Because there are no specific visuals that connect what Molly is seeing in her own mind with what the audience sees, the sound was the link to what she is experiencing. In a big way, the sound defines the movie.”

Lisa Horan, the executive director of PopMark Media, can be reached at lisa@popmarkmedia.com or 410/929-4380. For more information, visit PopMark Media.

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