22 FEATURES The Perfect Mix of Participants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Work Flow seminar provides encouraging discussion and feedback
Leveling the Playing Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Dolbyâ€™s LM100 makes advances in dialogue loudness
How Did I Get This Job? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Tim Cooney, CAS talks about interviews
Mixing Blindfolded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Competing in the 48-Hour Film Festival
DEPARTMENTS From the Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Letters to the Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Technically Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 G. John Garrett, CAS focuses on the CAT 5 cable
Been There Done That . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The members check in
In Remembrance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Lighter Side . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
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FROM THE EDITORS...
The CAS Quarterly has come a long way over the years, and now thanks in part to the Ingle Group, it is looking very slick, and better than ever! Anyone in the membership is encouraged to write an article about a show you are on. It keeps your name out there and lets people know what you are doing in a broader way from the Been There Done That space. In this issue, Paul Vik Marshall and Tim Cooney have sent in articles about shows they have worked on. Marshall’s Mixing Blindfolded and Cooney’s funny story on getting a job will provide readers some insight into a day in these two mixers’ lives. Quite a few members and friends attended the recent CAS seminar on work flow. Many spoke out with their opinions and suggestions in the article, The Perfect Mix of Participants. In the technical arena, G. John Garrett has provided a look at the audio applications of CAT 5 Cable, and Peter Damski shares information about the Dolby LM100 in his article, Leveling the Playing Field. We hope you continue to voice your opinions as sound mixer Shawn Holden, CAS, picture editor Rainer Standke, and moviegoer Frank L. David have done in the Letters to the Editors column. The Lighter Side page is growing in popularity and size! Be sure to send in a photo to share with the members. As always, Been There Done That is the section to let everyone know what you are doing. If you missed the deadline for this summer, our next issue will be out in the fall, sometime around November, and as always, we’ll be sending out announcements for submissions. Have a nice and prosperous summer, and let us know how and what you are doing!
A Side Note From Aletha Rodgers, CAS It is with mixed emotions that I announce my upcoming retirement as co-editor and columnist of the CAS Quarterly. I’ll be helping out through the winter issue, but I am announcing it here in our From the Editors page in hopes that someone out there in our membership might be interested in helping Pete coedit and write a few sound worthy articles. Being co-editor and columnist for this publication is very rewarding and fun. You get to talk with fellow mixers about their work, it enables you to keep in touch with people in the sound community, and it gives you the chance to let others know about interesting things going on in the field of sound. If anyone in the CAS membership is interested, please Active call Robin Damski in the CAS Office at 818-752-8624 or send us an email at Rick Bal casjournal@CinemaAudioSociety.org Griffith David Davies III Joe Diehl Sincerely, Dean Gaveau Donovan Dear Tom Stasinis Mike Draghi The Editors, Bruce Litecky Aletha Rodgers Eric Lalicata Peter Damski Susumu Tokanow email@example.com 4
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Richard Lightstone, President Melissa S. Hofmann, Vice President Chris Haire, Treasurer Marti D. Humphrey, Secretary BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Richard Branca James Cobern IV John Coffey Peter Damski Ed Greene Sherry Klein
Michael Minkler Ed Moskowitz Fred Tator Jon Taylor Greg Watkins
Brydon B. Baker R.D. Floyd David Bondelevitch Joe Foglia OFFICE MANAGER
Robin Damski EDITORS:
Aletha Rodgers Peter Damski PUBLISHER:
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Cinema Audio Society 859 Hollywood Way #632 Burbank, CA 91505 Phone: 818.752.8624 Fax: 818.752.8624 Email casjournal@CinemaAudioSociety.org Website www.cinemaaudiosociety.org ADVERTISING:
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called “conforming” just changes a flag in the existing file, no need to export an entire file. And, all of that works with picture, too. This enables you, for example, to change a clip’s playback rate from 23.976 to 29.97 and vice versa, without changing the content of the file. Or, more to the point, you can change a clip’s playback rate from 48.048 to 48.000. It leaves the file alone, just plays it somewhat slower. I thought this might be helpful to you guys to know. Thanks, Rainer Standke
LETTERS TO THE EDITORS Hello there, I am a picture editor & assistant, and I picked up your magazine at the seminar on 6/25. (Thanks for having me, it was an interesting event.) G. John Garrett mentions in his piece about pulldowns that Final Cut Pro doesn’t do pull-downs and pull-ups. He is right, in that there is not a switch in the hardware or software, like there is in the Avid. However, there is something that to my understanding is built into Quicktime that does essentially the same thing. A Quicktime file’s audio has all the sample on one hand, and the right number of samples to be played per time unit on the other. That ‘playback rate’ information can be changed easily in Cinema Tools, which comes with Final Cut Pro. To my understanding, the process
AN OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY FROM A MOVIE-GOER
Gentlemen and Ladies: For the past several years, I have been aware of the deteriorating quality of sound in both movies and TV productions. This quality problem takes several forms: 1. When two or more characters are speaking, the background sound effects and music are so loud that the dialog is barely audible. This is appropriate in some cases, such as in a battle scene where the noise of warfare almost completely drowns out any dialog. But it is inexcusable to interject loud, raucous music that detracts from the dialog and story line, and makes it almost impossible to hear what the characters are saying. To educate and inform the general public and the motion picture and televiPlease note, I am not hard of hearing. The problem is not that the sound is not sion industry that effective sound is achieved by a creative, artistic and techloud enough. The problem is that the nical blending of diverse sound elements. To provide the motion picture and sound mixer has allowed the background television industry with a progressive society of master craftsmen specialized sound to completely drown out the diain the art of creative cinematic sound recording. To advance the specialized log. field of cinematic sound recording by exchange of ideas, methods, and infor2. Since sound movies began, backmation. To advance the art of auditory appreciation, and to philanthropically ground music has been a staple of support those causes dedicated to the sense of hearing. To institute and movie/TV production. In most cases, the music enhances the artistic effect of the maintain high standards of conduct and craftsmanship among our members. production. But I have noticed many To aid the motion picture and television industry in the selection and trainrecent productions where the use of ing of qualified personnel in the unique field of cinematic sound recording. background music was—in my opinTo achieve for our members deserved recognition as major contributors to ion—a distraction, and added nothing to the field of motion picture and television entertainment. the artistic value of the production. In
CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY MISSION STATEMENT
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once they get there. And many on the many cases, silence is golden. Don’t use other side of the street who have never music unless it really adds to the overbeen on a working film set and have no all effect. idea what the demands to the sound 3. I voice my strong aversion to the crew have become. When the ProTools replacement of live musicians with one “Guru” is talking about the importance player “operating” an electronic conof entering the track sole, that for the assignments into the most part produces, I urge you metadata, it says to me not music, but what he has NEVER been on can only be termed to listen to your a set mixing a scene with noise. If you are product before five wireless mics, two going to use music, you release it. booms and a plant that use live musicians you had to throw in at playing real musical If you can’t hear the last minute to cover instruments. Yes it the dialog the person in the far corcosts more but it’s ner that the director has worth it. because of the just given a line to! It 4. Finally, I will would be nice if we had share my pet peeve: background music or sound effects time to then enter all of the use of rock music that into the metadata of in every movie, TV —fix it. the machine, but that is production and TV not going to happen in advertisement. I know the real world. My main concern is to your industry caters to the 18–35mix and record all those tracks in the year-old age group, but give the rest of the movie-going audience a break. Let’s hear jazz, classical, big band, Latin, etc. where it’s artistically appropriate to do so. Rock sucks. Loud rock is intolerable. I realize that comments 2., 3., and 4., above are generally not under the control of sound-mixing professionals. But comment 1., certainly does come under your area of expertise. I urge you to listen to your product before you release it. If you can’t hear the dialog because of the background music or sound effects—fix it. Frank L. David Hemet, California
cleanest way possible, not if I have the correct metadata of whose mic is on track 6! Things are happening too quickly in the field on the film set of today. Very clear notes on the sound reports, yes. In the metadata of the machine, if possible, but not something for post to rely on. Scene and take numbers are by all means easy to do and most if not all field recorders automatically increment take #s for you. This, time code, shoot day all doable. Personally, I have found the information from these and the past panelists has been very helpful in coming to understanding what we each do. More of this and more talk between the manufacturers of our field recorders and the people designing the post equipment is going to head us down the “happy sound” road. And as we all know, COMMUNICATION is ALWAYS the key! Best to you and yours, Shawn Holden, CAS
SEMINAR FEEDBACK About the seminar, first off, I’m happy someone is getting us together to voice our opinions, concerns and ideas for solutions. The only way to make all this work is to keep the dialogue flowing. It seems there are many on our side of the street who have never seen what our files look like when they are imported into an Avid or ProTools session, let alone what to do with them C A S Q U A R T E R LY
CAT 5 Cable:
Is There Anything It Can’t Do? by G. John Garrett, CAS ost of us are familiar with CAT 5 cable, a bundle of twisted pairs used for connecting computers to routers, Network Attached Storage devices, and each other via Ethernet. There are audio applications as well, and at much lower cost than many other solutions. First, a little overview of just what Category 5 cable is. Category 5 is a bundle of [usually] four twisted pairs of copper enclosed by a PVC or plenum-rated jacket. Cat 5e, Cat 6 and Cat 7 are similar, with higher numbers corresponding to more advanced specs for data transmission. There is also Cat 5 [and presumably above] SCTP, which stands for Screened Twisted Pair, which has an electrostatic shield, like the audio cables we use. Why in the world, you might ask, would one use unshielded wire in a professional audio application? If you know your application, you’ll find CAT 5 cable may work just fine. The telephone company sends audio over hundreds of miles of cable on unshielded twisted pairs without problems. For instance, many AM radio stations use specially equalized telephone lines to deliver content from the studios to the transmitters, and you don’t hear AC hum on the air. If electrostatic shielding were always a requirement, the phone company would be doing it. The common mode rejection of Belden 1872A CAT 6 cable is up around 110dB at 20Khz, and I imagine the CAT 5 spec is similar.
Twisted pairs of any sort work best with balanced signals.
Wiring layout: In a typical four-pair CAT 5 cable there are two tight twist and two loose twist pairs; it doesn’t matter which you use for signal pairs, but you should use one tight-twist pair and one loose-twist pair. The cable is built this way so that adjacent pairs in the bundle don’t create fields that are in phase with each other throughout the length of the cable due to all the wires having the same twist. This mitigates cross talk from pair to pair. You don’t gain any significant noise cancellation with tighter twists; beyond about seven twists per foot it’s a diminishing return situation. The remaining two pairs can be 8
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used as grounds. At the source end of the cable, strip and connect the wires in each pair to themselves, giving you two twisted drain wires. Attach one of these assemblies to each ground connection at the source, but do not attach the ground at the driven device. This is no different than how braid shields are done, and the third wire does supply a lot of electrostatic shielding, becoming the circuit path for the “noise” signal.
Twisted pairs of any sort work best with balanced signals. Truly balanced circuits have equal but opposite fields on either wire at any place along the length of the wire and longitudinal balance, as in any balanced line circuit, is very important. Many line drivers are not dual op amps, but a single op amp feeding the Plus side of the signal, and the Minus side of the signal is a resistor/capacitor network designed to match the characteristic impedance of the op amp output, say, 280 Ohms, referenced to ground. Mackie does this with many of its line drivers, for instance. It’s not really balanced like you’d get from a transformer, but it mostly works. The next driven device makes things more interesting. If you’re not driving a transformer or a pair of op-amps, the driven stage isn’t symmetrically balanced either. If you’re driving a differential op-amp, the Plus and Minus inputs have different impedances. One side of the signal goes through a series resistor and a shunt resistor to ground, a voltage divider. The other input has the same value series resistor and another series resistor connected to the output for controlling the gain of the circuit. Again, not really balanced, but it more or less works.
Easy AES: Another great bonus is in using CAT 5 for AES audio. Digital console manufacturers are starting to put RJ45 connectors on their gear, and running all the AES around from one part of the system to another using CAT 5. Now, you’ve seen special shielded pair cable made for AES audio, and maybe you’ve asked yourself, “What’s the difference between this and my favorite analog audio cable?” The difference is that AES is
essentially high-speed data, and the wire doesn’t act as a DC conductor so much as it behaves like a transmission line. With transmission line the characteristic impedance of the line is important to maximize power [or data] throughput, and minimize jitter, reflections and errors at the receiving end. The AES transmission line standard specifies a 110-Ohm (+/- 20%) cable, which works out to about 88132 Ohms. As it turns out, CAT 5 cable is 100 Ohms characteristic impedance, just right! The characteristic impedance of shielded twisted pair audio cable varies from design to design, some being as low as 10 Ohms, many falling between 40–70 Ohms, some higher. While unsuitable for AES audio at distances above 10 meters, you can often get away with running NTSC standard def video in an audio cable in a pinch but you can’t send AES audio down just any old mic line for more than a few feet. With care you can run AES up to 100 meters without reclocking, but some equipment is designed to send and receive AES audio up to 400 meters with reclocking receivers or active eq at one or both ends of a system [i.e. MADI] and the Belden catalog shows some cables able to carry digital audio for 2,000 feet. For mic level signals, I would personally stick with something that has a shield, but I’ve wired broadcast studios with CAT 5 [excluding mic inputs] and I see it showing up in a lot of facility wiring. Besides the low cost [I bought a 1,000-ft reel at a computer show recently for about $30], you get at least two useable pairs in the jacket. If you have to make line-level runs to various places, give it some consideration. •
BUENA VISTA POST PRODUCTION SERVICES Stage C Mark Fleming
References: http://bwcecom.belden.com/Master%20Cata log%20PDF/PDFS_links%20to%20docs/ 12_Broadcast/12.27.pdf http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/cat5 questions_e.html http://www.lanshack.com/cat5e-tutorial.aspx
818-560-1576 • www.buenavistapost.com © Disney
The Perfect Mix of Participants
by Aletha Rodgers, CAS
n the second of a series of seminars on the work flow process, the Cinema Audio Society selected a panel of varied professionals who presented ideas, opinions and possible solutions to present and future problems. According to many who attended, even though a final solution was not reached, a greater awareness and an opportunity to open the channels of communication a bit wider was accomplished. The seminar, “The Work Flow From Production Through Post Production,” held on Sunday, June 25, 2006, at Disney Studios in Burbank included panelists Scott Wood from Digidesign/Avid; Victor Iorillo, supervising sound editor; Mark Ulano, production sound mixer; Mike Walker from Encore Hollywood; Don Rohrer of Wexler Video, Reality TV; and Bernie Laramie, post production supervisor. A direct link is available on the CAS website for viewing at http://www.cinemaaudiosociety.org/seminars/workflow3videopart1.php. Shortly after the seminar, I spoke with several audience members, panelists, and moderator John Coffey. About the seminar, 10
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Coffey said there was plenty more than met the eye, adding, “This was the first time in many years that all the players— software writers, manufacturers, production mixers, producers and post production from telecine through editorial, all came together in the same room for the express purpose of bringing unity to the work flow process. “This meeting in particular had the perfect mix of the right panelists to affect change and they showed open minds for the creative process needed for us all to meld together as a single force. At past meetings, the only thing agreed upon was that we had a huge mess and few answers. This time however, actual realworld solutions were offered by all. Particularly important was the new work flow solution offered by ProTools through the Avid. They are a big piece of this puzzle we are trying to solve, and they are vigorously making fixes as they can.” Production mixer Susan Moore-Chong said, “I felt better knowing that most of what ‘post’ wants from us, I’m already doing. The one thing that intrigued me was the telecine operator asking for us to read time code off the recorder while giving the head ID at the beginning of a hard drive folder. I have been entering metadata and am happy to know that in the release of 7.2 HD it will be preserved.”
Production mixer Paul Vik Marshall said the biggest shock to him was hearing mixers not labeling properly and not knowing the correct sample and frame rates saying, “It is all about being on the same page with post.” On the topic of metadata, production mixer Chuck Buch told me he felt metadata was a wonderful thing, and added, “As a production mixer it is very difficult to enter as many things as post would like to see. Sometimes we can’t even get a scene number from the script supervisor until after we are already rolling, then we make a note on our sound reports and try to enter this later. Circle takes are always a challenge when they are not related and transportation is standing over us waiting to take away the sound. We are usually unable to enter all the information from our written reports into the metadata and still be able to work a rehearsal, if they have one, and be prepared for the next shot. Perhaps we could come up with a track-labeling shortcut such as using the character numbers assigned to the actors by production from the call sheets. This would be much faster than typing character names every time track assignments change. As
fect world, we’d all have the time to do our jobs thoroughly.” Manufacturer Glenn Sanders from Zaxcom said he felt the seminar raised some interesting points. As with many others, he believes there should be a middle ground between production and post on the subject of metadata. Also, Sanders said, “The production sound mixer can only be burdened with a minimal amount of metadata entry as the job of mixing sound is the primary focus. It is important for the field recorder to automate as much of the metadata entry process as possible. This is the best way to get enough information to post to help streamline the recording/post process.” Mirroring Sanders’ remark, Laramie said, “The entire spectrum of production has gotten more and more complex with less and less time and money. It affects every area but particularly the technical crafts. Technology has dramatically increased our ability to tell any story and has totally changed the way we work. We must all work together, but internally and between the various departments to increase the communication and effectiveness of the production. The point is not the metadata, nor
Participants from the CAS seminar, “The Work Flow From Production Through Post Production.” Photos by Peter Damski
far as microphones used—maybe we should supply a numbercoded list of our mics at the start of production and if possible, reference them on the track logs.” Rerecording mixer Fred Tator said, “The discussions of metadata assume the production mixers have time to give more information than had previously been demanded. Some terminology is now arcane or obsolete. The production mixers no longer deal with ‘sound roles’ or tape. Frame rate, sample rate, type of time code, multiple tracks and the actual media for recording vary from project to project. Telecine transfer seems to be at the center of the bottleneck. They are dealing with mixed media, poor documentation and a lack of editorial assistants to log identifiers that will move material through editing. The new ProTools 7.2 demo showed how easily alternate takes can become available on the dub stage for rerecording. But, that assumes the information is in the metadata original file. Sometimes just getting it recorded is a miracle itself. In a per-
the hardware. The point is to increase the creativity and make sure that our advances allow us to focus more on the creative than the craft.” On the same subject, production mixer Jeff Wexler said, “Certainly the entering of metadata (by metadata I mean information beyond time code, sample rate, segment numbers and so forth, all things which are entered usually automatically by the recording device) is a function of the equipment being used and the type of job. For example, on a feature film, where there is a script person developing scene numbers based on the breakdown of the written script, traditional or TC slates are being used, it is not so difficult to enter the metadata, scene and take. On the other hand, a documentary or unscripted ‘reality’ type show is a whole different issue. A question could be, ‘what is the relevant metadata’ on a long-form documentary shot on video? Obviously, the useful metadata that could possibly be provided, or not, has to be determined.” C A S Q U A R T E R LY
Ulano said he felt, “The big news to come out of the seminar is that Digidesign is getting on board with listening to the whole process. By restructuring their pricing and including realworld features pertaining to how the media is recorded, this is a big step in the direction of creating a universal protocol. The next piece of good news is that this seminar should lead us to a working roundtable discussion about setting standards for production and post on compatibility and work flow. This is beginning to reach an ‘urgent’ status, and I am glad to see it in play.” There was a discussion on what to rename sound rolls, if they need to be renamed, and if so, what? Some had stronger opinions than others. Ulano commented that, “If we just call it Sound ID#, it could mean anything, if there is no way to know what it is, what good is a name? We need a naming system that will survive the inevitable flood of changes in how we deliver media files, so reel, roll, disc, etc., won’t do it. It needs something more intrinsic than how it’s handed off as that will go away soon enough. Production mixers might be uploading media within two years to an FTP site or whatever, then what? Will we call it ‘the morning stuff ’ and the ‘afternoon stuff ’? We need to think globally and long term for a survivable naming system that will make sense for years to come.” Buch added, “As far as a way to label sound rolls, reels, discs, files or whatever, we can call them anything. I suggest ishcabible, as long as they can be referenced all the way down the line. Media labels and sound reports need to contain as much information as possible to help eliminate problems down the line. The post supervisor should make sure everyone in the work flow is communicating before a problem can arise.” Wexler said, “I personally found the whole discussion of what to name the sound roll totally ridiculous and without merit. What’s the problem? I think it is just fine to call it ‘sound roll no. 6’ where number ‘6’ appears quite prominently in the main file header (all the recorders do this) and there is the date as well. I really cannot understand why people got bent out of shape calling it a sound ‘roll’ when it isn’t really a roll but a collection of files. Why does the Avid still call their collection of files a ‘bin’? Where’s the canvas bag sitting behind the computer that’s holding all this ‘footage’?” Picture editor Rainer Standke said he felt the seminar was interesting but felt not all points were made clear. “It was assumed there are no physical, permanent mediums to store the audio on anymore (like Nagra reels, with their unique reel numbers), one could use the sound reel name as a more abstract identifier, for example, the shoot date. The downside to that is if you have several units going, or music etc., recorded on the same date, then just shoot date and time of day are not unique identifiers any more. Personally, I’d be horrified by the thought of not having a physically unique item with a unique number and unique audio on it to go back to in case I needed to. Thus, the idea that the telecine facility has the first half of today’s audio on two different DVDs is somewhat frightening to me. I’d be afraid that one day I’d grab an incomplete DVD of that day’s audio and then panic because I don’t find the audio recorded after the break-off. I walked away with the idea in mind that the DVDs 12
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delivered at the end of the day should be the items that the sound reel information points to. This would imply that time codes on that DVD would have to be unique, and that the mixer on the set would have to project the capacity of a DVD, and change to the next reel number when the first DVD’s capacity is exhausted, even if the DVD isn’t burnt yet. I would like to see the clip names by scene and take, but I understand that may be wishful thinking. I agree that a paper log of everything is absolutely vital. It does make sense to me that ‘the mix’ would always be on the same tracks, and why not the first ones?” Standke said. Many audience members felt a committee should be formed. Buch said he felt many of the same problems seem to come up seminar after seminar with no viable solution, adding, “Maybe we should form a committee to meet with representatives from Production Sound, Telecine, Picture Editorial, Sound Editorial, Music, Manufacturing and Software Development in order for all parts of the work flow to be understood by each area. This committee could then suggest a workable solution for our industry at the next seminar.” Wexler agreed, saying, “I think several committee-type meetings, possibly even over a two-day period, if populated by the proper people, could be very helpful in hammering out a lot of this stuff.” The idea of a committee also was voiced by Sound Devices’ Jon Tatooles. “While these type of meetings are excellent to discover key issues facing audio engineers, resolution of them may best be left to a small, empowered group of stakeholders. Reaching a ‘consensus work flow’ with a large audience presently won’t happen. Our community has far more capability than we ever did in the tape-based world. Files should be simpler, but they won’t be as long as each department, manufacturer, and user is working on their own island,” Tatooles said. Manufacturer John Broadhead said, “Being the newer manufacturer to this part of the table, it was very enlightening. With our new professional field recorder releasing in September (the EDIROL R-4 Pro), we are excited about being a part of making work flow simpler. It is just the beginning from our perspective.” About the seminar in general, Iorillo said, “The thing I thought most important was there were over 100 professionals talking to each other, communicating. I thought Scott’s presentation was terrific. These new capabilities are fantastic. I think the outcome was that everyone is going to keep talking and working toward developing standards and procedures for work flow.” The CAS seminar opened, continued and expanded upon what was started at its previous seminar back in June 2005. According to CAS President Richard Lightstone, “The Cinema Audio Society and its Board of Directors are committed to these seminars where we bring all the parties together to discuss audio issues, clarify them, and pave the way to implementing needed standards. Our next major seminar is entitled, ‘What Happened to My Sound?’ where we will deal with the confusion of the audio delivery standards of television shows for each of the major networks and cable channels. There is a different delivery standard for every outlet and it’s time to get a handle on this.” As soon as we know when and where the next seminar will be, the CAS Quarterly will print an announcement. •
Dolby La F or the past several years, the Sound Peer Group of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) has been using DVDs for at-home judging of the primetime Emmy Award sound nominations. The technological shift from the distribution of VHS tapes for judging to the DVD format was brought about because many shows were now being mixed for air in the Dolby Digital 5.1 format. This was the best way to get the 5.1 mixes to the judges. Fortunately, Steven Venezia, Dolby’s DVD/DTV Broadcast Support Manager, was and is, a member of the ATAS Sound Peer Group Executive Committee (PGEC) and was able to oversee the transition in distribution formats. One of the challenges PGEC faced in the changeover was how to make sure that all of the nominated shows in a single category were viewed in a fair comparison. Venezia knew that Dolby already had the perfect device for this purpose. Enter the Dolby LM100 Loudness Meter.
Riedmiller states, “There was a need to simply assess the perceived loudness, which is a subjective quantity, on a more objective basis.” Many of the people involved with setting levels at broadcast facilities are not trained audio technicians and there had to be a way to make it easy for these people to set correct audio parameters (such as dialnorm). In the analog world, each facility had its own audio-level standards, reference or lineup level philosophies but in the digital realm the standard of “0 dBfs” or Full Scale Digital has been accepted as the standard. This reference (inherently) is the same throughout the industry both nationally and internationally. “We wanted to build a box that would allow us to measure loudness relative to the same reference.” Venezia continues, “The next level in the development was to determine what part of the program material should be measured.” The LM100 uses a series of algorithms to determine loudness based on the technology “Dialogue Intelligence©.”
Playing Field Dolby Labs LM100
by Peter Damski, CAS The LM100 was developed at Dolby Laboratories by Project Product Manager Jeff Riedmiller with a team from their Product Engineering and R&D departments. Riedmiller has served as cochairman of the Audio Quality Engineering Subcommittee within the National Cable Telecommunications Association-Engineering Committee and continues to be active in the SCTE Standards Committee including having a background in cable TV distribution. One of the requirements of the new DTV standard was to adopt a standard method of indicating (and normalizing) the average loudness of program material. In any broadcast environment, there is a need to ensure that the audio levels of all programming be somewhat consistent. Cable TV head end distributors receive programming material from many different sources including the major networks, cable networks, and commercial material for integration into the broadcast. The concept of the Dialogue Normalization (dialnorm) is an inherent feature within North American DTV system (and DVD) that provides a means to normalizing loudness across all program types. Simply put, the dialnorm value (carried in the Dolby Digital bitstream) represents the average level of dialog with respect to Full Scale Digital. 14
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Several studies were undertaken by Dolby to measure the differences and similarities in the human perception of loudness. These studies would eventually lead to Dialogue Intelligence©. In the studies, test subjects evaluated several samples of audio programming and compared each of them (individually) to a single reference sample. During the test, each listener manually leveled (by ear) every program sample to match the reference and the difference in level from the level control device was tracked and the cumulative data among the listening panel was analyzed. The audio sources included spoken words, singing, music and sound effects as well as full mixes of a variety of material. Through this research, it was determined that in a preponderance of cases, that the test subjects agreed with each other more often when using dialogue as the source. Where, in contrast to this, there was often a large disagreement among the listeners when assessing the level of music, FX, etc. Given these results, Dialogue Intelligence has been set up to ignore singing, rap vocals and anything it determines to be musical or rhythmic in nature. The LM100 will ignore any material which it deter-
mines is not a dialogue source thereby focusing on the portions of the audio signal that listeners can agree on most frequently (i.e. dialogue). The display of the LM100 shows the average level of dialogue as compared to Full Scale Digital. The device will display the average or dialnorm value based on two distinct time constraints. The first is called the “Short Term” mode which reads a 10-second window as time elapses. The second is known “Infinite” mode which continually updates the dialogue level until the measurement is paused or reset. It is the “Infinite” mode which was used to measure the loudness of all of the Sound Mixing and Editing nominees. Generally speaking, the measured dialogue level (which becomes the dialnorm value in the Dolby Digital bitstream) for the material within each category tends to fall within a small range. For example, the dialnorm range for most dramatic programming usually falls in between -31 dBfs and -24 dBfs. For
comedies, the range tends to fall in between -24 dBfs and -18 dBfs. During the QC process, each show is measured by taking several 3–5 minute samples of material and the resulting dialnorm value is then added to the metadata which is used for authoring the DVDs for distribution to the judges. The meter is reset for each new program. If any show within a single category does not fall within the average range for that genre, a flag goes up that there may be a problem. All home DVD players will automatically adjust the volume of any Dolby Digital source soundtrack based on its dialnorm value. This replaces the tendency of the average listener to adjust the volume of the source material by turning the volume up or down on their receivers or TV sets when switching between various programming content. It’s important to note that the dialnorm value is only applied once for the entire program and not dynamically throughout the show. It enables the HDTV, DVD player or home receiver to automatically do what the listener has always done manually with their remote control, adjust the master volume to normalize the level of different shows. The people at Dolby Labs are constantly improving their products and working to bring new developments to market as the technology advances. One of these developments is the ability to be able to determine the dialnorm value for file-based material using faster-than-real-time software in some of the new media servers. Many broadcasters and cable distributors are now working with file-based programming. I predict it won’t be long before the ATAS Sound PGEC will be recommending a change to file-based materials for distribution. For more information on the LM100, go to http://dolby.com/professional/pro_ audio_engineering/lm100_01.html. •
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The Interview OR
How Did I Get This Job? b y T i m C o o n e y, C A S going to hang up I ask the name of the film. The voice says the film is called Ten Million Cold French Nights and hangs up. Already I have broken two of my own filmmaking rules. Number one, never take a film with “night” in the title and number two, never work “French” hours unless you’re in France. So I express my concern to my “at that time” wife. She then reminds me that I need to take this job because she still has a black belt in shopping to maintain. Just then my 18year-old daughter comes in and informs us that she has been accepted to the only college in the United States that does not have a scholarship program. Before I can even respond, my son comes walking in and lets us know that the only college he is planning on attending is clown. All of a sudden, Ten Million Cold French Nights is starting to look better, and I have not had the interview yet. I try to convince my “then wife” she could really help out the financial situation if she were to get a little part-time job. After all, she is just sleeping between midnight and five o’clock, and I am sure I could get her a paper route. She didn’t go for it so I got ready for the interview—French nights or no French nights. I decide it would be prudent to go over my resume. During the last interview, the director said and I quote, “Oh, you mixed the sound on that picture? That was my favorite picture when I was in junior high.” I did not get that job but later I saw the picture that he directed and I think his talents really lie in the fast-food industry. Anyway, I check my resume, calculate when someone might have gotten out of junior high and high school, and was a PA for two years and then became a director. I take everything off of my resume before that time frame, hopeful that I will convince the director and producer I don’t have one foot in the Motion Picture and Television Home. I have the name of the director and decide to go to IMDb to see what he has done. I see this guy is fairly new and has only directed one
lthough this is grossly exaggerated for your reading pleasure, all of the following events actually happened. I have changed the names of the films involved to protect the innocent, which by the way is me. I would like to get hired by these people again. So I am an out-of-work production mixer who has been sitting at home wondering how to pay my bills and wondering if I will ever work again. Just as my train of thought was in the neighborhood of how to get on The Price Is Right or American Idol to try and pick up a few bucks, the phone rings. A voice on the other end asks if I am available and if I can come in tomorrow at two o’clock to meet the director and producer. I jump at this opportunity like Oprah on a Christmas ham. I tell them it would be my pleasure and I get directions. Just as the voice is
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“Actually, we did not get disconnected. When you said you could not pay my ‘usual rate,’ and you did not even know what it was, I figured we had nothing to talk about and I hung up.” other film! Who woulda thought. The film was a huge success. It was entitled Teenage Hitchhiking Sleezbitches From Outer Space. The picture was made for $2.7 million and made $107 million not including DVDs. As I scan through the credits of his last film, I see many of the same people are doing the film I am interviewing for tomorrow. Two things immediately come to mind. Number one, why are they not hiring the mixer that did his first picture and number two, why did they call me—I don’t know any of these people. Now you might figure that since this director’s first picture made so much money, a big windfall, they would have a really good budget on this one. Wrong! I am absolutely positive when I get to the interview I am going to hear, we really don’t have a lot of money, the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. And furthermore, if they can’t keep the budget down, they will have to take the picture to Montreal. Now for those of you out there that don’t know me, I must explain that some people don’t think I am very diplomatic. It is truly one of my faults that I have been working on my whole life. So I must remind myself that if they tell me this, I must not tell them that Montreal is just Mexico with an accent. Actually it is well known in the industry that if Switzerland ever goes to war, it will directly or indirectly be my fault. Well now, it’s too late to rent this guy’s one-and-only film, so I do the next best thing. I call my kids in and ask them if they have seen
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this picture. My kids are like CliffsNotes for movies. Their attention spans and CliffsNotes are definitely in the same ballpark. Luckily, the boy says it’s his favorite movie. Next week it will be something else but for now I am in luck. He proceeds to tell me about the movie, hopefully he gets it right. Now maybe I can meet this director and have something to talk about—some common ground. I arrive for the interview 15 minutes early and am told that the director is still in a meeting. In Hollywood, everybody is in a meeting. If you go to the ATM machine, you are in a meeting with your banker. At that moment I wish I was in a meeting with my plumber. I don’t do interviews well. Up on the wall behind this person’s desk is a shooting calendar schedule. There is not one damn day on it, the whole film will be shot at night accept for the last week. In the last week, there is a holiday which works because then they can turn us around to shoot the last week during the daylight. Now as I sit there waiting my turn I am thinking, I should have listened to my mom. I would have had my own parish by now but what’s done is done. I make small talk with the person at the desk to try to find out more about the director and producer until it’s my turn. Now the door opens and out comes the mixer who just won the Oscar a few months ago. We say hi, I congratulate him on the Oscar and he tells me good luck. I walk into the
office and meet the director and producer. Immediately they tell me the reason I am there is because I had played music in a band with a producer who was a friend of the director. Keep in mind this picture has no music, no playback, no bar scenes with a jukebox, nada!! Just your typical dialog-type picture. I try breaking the ice by asking if they would like the production tracks recorded to a DVD or digital tape or would they prefer analog. I tell them I have the capability to do both. They look at me like the RCA dog. They have no idea what I am talking about. Then I notice some heavy-duty artwork in this guy’s office so I switch gears and make a nice comment about some painting behind his desk. He asks me if I am interested in art and have I ever been to the Getty Museum? I tell him no because they don’t have the painting I like there. He asks me which one is that? I tell him you know, the one with the dogs playing poker. Once again he looks at me strange. So I tell him I did see the Mona Lisa in Paris a couple of years ago but he’s not buying it. Luckily for me, at that moment I spot a guitar in the corner and ask him about it. The director proceeds to tell me about his music and the songs he wrote, etc. He asks me if I write songs and where I get my inspiration for the lyrics in my songs. I tell him most of my inspirations are based on restraining orders. Finally, after a half hour of him telling me about the music he likes and his favorite bands and
traveling down memory lane, the interview is over. They say thanks for coming in, thanks for your time, etc. Now I am the one who looks like the RCA dog. We never talked about the show or the sound on the show or anything to do with the show. So I figure that’s it. I blew it and I don’t have a chance that they will pick me for the gig. As I am in my car on the way home the cell rings and it’s the show I just interviewed for. They ask if I could come back because they have decided to go with me. As a matter of fact, they ask me to hold on for the UPM who needs to discuss the rates with me. I try to think back an hour or so. I try to figure out exactly when I crossed over that bridge into The Twilight Zone when the UPM comes on the phone. The first thing this guy says is although I don’t know you, I am happy you are going to be doing our picture. Now we don’t have a lot of money because the company is small. We are doing everything we can to not take this to Canada (I use my restraint not to tell him the accent thing) and by the way, we can’t pay your usual rate. Of course he does not have a clue what my “usual rate” is, he just knows he can’t pay it. At this point I pull over to the curb and just hang up the phone. Sure enough, two minutes later the phone rings and it’s the UPM saying sorry we got disconnected. I told him, “Actually, we did not get disconnected. When you said you could not pay my ‘usual rate,’ and you did not even know
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I would say about half of my interviews go like this one where they don’t talk about the show or what they want or what they expect. The other half are fairly normal and they know exactly what they want. what it was, I figured we had nothing to talk about and I hung up.” There was this 20 seconds of silence and I was not going to speak first. Finally he says, “Look, the producer and director really like you (to this day I don’t know why) to come back to the office and we will work things out.” When I get back to the office, the UPM is waiting for me. We sit down and worked everything out. Since then I have done two more pictures with these guys. On the second picture I did with the director, I decided to try and figure out this interview process we have to go through. I asked him why he hired me over the other mixers when he did not know me. All he said was, “I like your energy.” I wish I knew what the hell that meant. I would use it again. According to my “then wife,” I have very little energy but I am not going to discuss my shortcomings here.
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I would say about half of my interviews go like this one where they don’t talk about the show or what they want or what they expect. The other half are fairly normal and they know exactly what they want. What the criteria is for landing the job is beyond me. I have been going to these interviews for 30 years, and I still don’t know what the answer is. If someone out there does know, please clue the rest of us in. I think what the deal is, if they don’t have a particular mixer in mind, they interview you to see if they can live with you for two or three months. After all, they think anybody can do the job, so it’s about your personality. It’s sad that experience or recognition (like nominations and awards) won’t even get you the interview. I have had mixers in post who are going to mix the picture, recommend me for the job and even that didn’t get me the interview. Of course, we have all run into the producer’s cousin who has just bought the latest equipment and has done one commercial. So let’s go with him because of the we-will-save-money syndrome. But then I have done an $80 million picture with a director who has only done one commercial. So now I have to finish this article because believe it or not, I am on my way to an interview. I feel pretty confident. I have been to the Getty and I have been told this director is an animal activist and really into French culture. So I have to hurry so I can stop by my sister’s house and pick up her French poodle to take with me. Who knows, maybe he will like my energy. •
MixingBlindfol by Paul Vik Marshall, CAS
orty-eight teams of competitive filmmakers, 48 hours to complete a seven-minute or less film. The challenge was on. To be picked as one of the teams in the 48-Hour Film Festival is an accomplishment in itself but to finish the project from nothing to something viewable and entertaining in 48 hours is truly a test of skill, creativity and compromise. Three weeks before the shooting weekend, the producer is given the word that their team has been selected to compete. During the three weeks prior to filming, the cast is chosen and a crew is assembled. On Friday at 7 p.m., the director and writer pick the genre out of a hat. All teams are then given three common things that must be incorporated into the script: A prop, the name of a person, and this person’s occupation. The use of the prop, and the name, and person’s occupation in the script ensure that the project was not completed before the start of the competition. Stuart Acher, the director, and Neil Pollner, the coeditor and co-writer, were off and running as soon as they knew the genre. It was HORROR. The prop was a FLAG, L. SCHNABEL was the person’s name, and his occupation was to be SOMEONE WHO WORKS WITH TELEPHONES. The deadline for the short to be completed was 7 p.m. Sunday. The producer, Tori Leonard, called a mutual friend who recommended me to do production sound on the project. I got the call from Leonard on Thursday afternoon, two days before
shooting. I listened to her pitch and the warning signs were up and flashing. A Saturday gig. No pay. A boom operator who I did not know and a guarantee of at least a 12-hour day. A hardline audio feed into the pro-sumer Panasonic DVX 100A and a crew that I had never worked with before. I was free that Saturday, and I am always up for a challenge. What the heck, doing a freebee and getting back to the basics of mixing on the fly would be fun. Blindfolded was the name of the script. It was written Friday 22
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night, and the crew was ready to shoot Saturday at 8 a.m. You could feel the energy, excitement and anxiety from the entire crew. The producer and director were appreciative from the get-go and the rest of the crew seemed experienced and up for the challenge. It was a mad rush to get the first shot off and in vain I searched around the set for the boom operator who was going to help me through this ambitious day. I was informed that the boom operator was sick with food poisoning and wouldn’t be able to join us. The 1st AD was shouting, “Pictures up!” It’s a steadi cam shot up and down the stairs that belonged to a villa-like home on the side of a steep hill. There were 48 steps from curbside to the front door. A coincidence? Touting
myself as a great sit-down mixer, I knew I was in for a hellish morning. I radio miced the two actors playing the newlyweds who had come to see their newly purchased home and I tethered myself to the camera so I could get a return to my Cooper 104 and know that I was laying audio down on the camera audio tracks. A wireless feed to the camera was out of the question. I didn’t have the time to set it up. I had flashbacks of my mixing Docs, ENGs and EPKs. I was in the jungle again. It was 11 a.m. and I was still alive but drenched with sweat. We moved inside the villa and I foolishly thought, ‘Interiors. Now here’s a chance to relax!’ We had been moving along so quickly that I hadn’t had time to read the script or to assess how many characters I would be dealing with or even get a feeling of the script’s premise. This would be my second major challenge. Six characters all with lines delivered around a huge living room, entryway and staircase to the second floor. According to script, the newlyweds who we first shot arriving at the villa were not the only ones who had purchased this villa. A cowboy in a G-string, a hippie girl, and an elegant couple greet the newlyweds with the bad news that they had all been scammed and the last person standing alive, would
become the rightful owner of the villa. I had to recruit somebody to be my boom trainee. At this time I had a pretty good idea of the character of the crew around me. Eric Goldfarb, an Emmy Award–winning picture editor, became my boom operator. It was on-the-spot training. I explained in very simple terms the string theory of mics and talent. Imagine a string at the end of the microphone. (I was using a Sennheiser MKH 60.) That string is extended to the throat area of the actor you are booming. The microphone and the string will follow the actor’s mouth in any direction. I told Eric two other important things. If there is a light behind you, you will likely cast a shadow on talent, so don’t stand in front of the light. Also, get an idea of what the four sides of the frame are and don’t dip in. Eric first experienced the frozen-pole syndrome but soon got the general idea. At one point I needed two wireless booms. I took a huge risk. I put Eric on one boom and I picked up the second boom and set the levels on the Cooper. Leaving the Cooper on a chair with a hard-line extension to steadi cam, we followed the steadi cam to all its marks. Eric took one side of the room and I took the other. We were listening to an IFB feed from the Cooper, but not the camera. It was a strange sensation not being able to monitor levels from the camera, but the leap of
faith paid off and I got the sound I was looking for. The crew was fun to be around and director Stuart’s humor and laughter broke up the tense moments. How was the flag incorporated into the script? There was murder and mayhem throughout the villa. The newlywed wife was chased by murderous crazies and fell down a flight of stairs, breaking her leg. She found a flag on a wall that she used to tie up her broken leg. Looking back, I realize when working on a shoot like this, it is all about teamwork. Forty-eight teams began the competition but only 30 completed their shorts. Letting things slide by the wayside when you normally wouldn’t, and savoring the intensity, focus and instant camaraderie that a project like this creates, I don’t for a minute regret taking part in the festival. My hat is off to director Stuart Acher, producer Tori Leonard, boom operator Eric Goldfarb, co-writer Neil Pollner, editor Todd Desrosiers, and the rest of the crew that made the impossible possible. We did not win but we certainly held our own against the rest of the competition. What does the future hold for Blindfolded? Acher has informed me that it has been picked up by Kontrol, a company that will be featuring short films or “Web-a-sodes” on cell phones. Now who is Blindfolded? • Acher is now working on his first feature that he will direct this summer. To find out more, visit www.makeamoviehappen.com
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“I have been officially notified by The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that I have been nominated for an Emmy Award for my sound recording work on the DreamWorks/ TNT mega miniseries Into the West (2005). The sound for Into the West was recorded on a DEVA II and backed up on a HHb Portadat. I start another miniseries for Lions Gate on July 19 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, tentatively called Motel Man. The sound will be recorded on a DEVA and a Sound Devices 744T.” Bayard Carey CAS “I am spending the summer working on the action film Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. The shoot takes us from glaciers to the African deserts.” Rob Young CAS (production mixer), Mike Hibberson (boom) and Karen Schell (assistant). “I’m excited about getting a primetime Emmy nomination for Sleeper Cell. I am currently mixing Dexter for Showtime with Kraig Kishi and Russell MacAbee. Wife Andrea is remodeling the bathroom. Lots of dust!” Roger Pietschmann CAS
Lori Dovi CAS finished mixing on Carriers for Paramount in New Mexico with Matthew Halbert booming and Misty Conn as utility/second boom. “Hi to all. I have been lucky enough to be working on these films lately: Bobby, Smiley Face, and Sex and Death 101. Hope you are all doing well.” Coleman Metts CAS “I have finished Music & Lyrics By in New York starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, followed by some additional days on Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. I’m off to Austin, Texas, to work on Kimberly Peirce’s film which is as yet untitled. Hope everyone’s having a good year.” Danny Michael CAS
Sony-Feature Films: Kevin O’Connell and Greg Russell CAS have just completed Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in the Cary Grant Theatre. They are currently temping Deja Vu for director Tony Scott and will be finalizing right after. Gary Bourgeois CAS and Greg Orloff CAS are currently mixing All the King’s Men in the Anthony Quinn Theatre. Television: On Stage 6, Rusty Smith CAS and Bill Freesh are mixing HBO’s Deadwood. Jeff Haboush CAS and Bill Benton CAS are working on a new DVD version of The Natural. Haboush recently finished Click and is preparing for Nancy Meyers’ new film The Holiday. In the Kim Novak Theater, Steve Maslow and Tateum Kohut CAS are wrapping up the final mix of Rocky Balboa.
Paul Vik Marshall CAS is working on a Suzuki commercial in Utah, Oregon and Washington for Aero Film with boom operator Mitch Cohn.
Frank Morrone CAS has just finished dubbing the film Partition and is getting ready to mix the third season of Lost on the newly installed ICON at Buena Vista Post.
Peter Kurland CAS is just finishing No Country for Old Men with Randy Johnson on boom and Cole Gittinger as utility with a guest appearance by Joe Brennan on boom. Yes it’s all in the deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Marfa, Texas, but the dust and cacti are pleasantly cool as we’re shooting mostly at night.
mixer Dave Humphries CAS has been back in
Brian Simmons CAS is currently
the theatre at Future Post in London, mixing Shadow Man starring Steven Seagal with director Michael Keusch, and The Detonator starring Wesley Snipes for director Po-Chih Leong.
shooting 1408 at Elstree Studios, London, with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Director Mikael Hafström. Colin Wood—boom and Cecilia Lanzi—cableperson. Deva rocks!
Wearing his other hat, Humphries has been shooting location ADR for Alfonso Cuarón’s film Children of Men in Thailand, and he’s also been Foley editing on Broken Thread starring Linus Roache, Saffron Burrows and Andrea Corr, directed by Mahesh Mathai and on Nobody the Great directed by Kara Miller.
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Ken S. Polk CAS and Ezra Dweck have recently completed two more film projects back-to-back: Crank for Lionsgate/Lakeshore, opens September 1, and The Music Within will be opening at the Toronto Film Festival this fall. Ken had just completed the mix on Jake Paltrow’s The Good Night before starting the Crank mix, and is now taking a bit of a break to complete a CD/record project he is producing and engineering before starting the next film. “I have finished the final mix of the movie Beauty in the Troubles from director Jan Hrebejk. Before that I spent a short time with second unit on Casino Royale and now I am recording (with boom operator Jan Skala) location sound for the new Czech movie Small Bear.” Sincerely, Michal Holubec CAS During hiatus, Nicholas Allen CAS and his crew, Ron Wright (boom operator) and Chuck Homyak (utility), finished up the West Coast portion of The Savages, an indie feature starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, Directed by Tamara Jenkins. Currently, Nicholas and the team are working away on Bruckheimer Television/Warner Brothers new series, Justice. Slick sets, tons of dialogue, two camera’s wide and tight and HD, so let’s get the wireless out. It’s all OK because we embrace the challenge and “keep ’em sounding sweet!”
Jay Meagher CAS (sound mixer) and crew, Randy Pease (boom operator) and Chris Jones (cable), completed this summer Jim Carrey’s movie The Number 23 for New Line. I am currently on Paramount Pictures Resurrecting the Champ, a Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett picture in Calgary with Peter Melnychuk (boom operator) and Mike Markiw (cable).
Dave Fluhr CAS and Kevin Carpenter completed Paramount’s Black Snake Moan with director Craig Brewer, due out in February 2007. David and his new partner, Myron Nettinga, mixed their first film together, Barnyard, for Steve
Oedekerk and Paramount in July. August brought Touchstone’s The Guardian with director Andy Davis. Next up will be The Lookout for director Scott Frank, followed by Meet the Robinsons, the first Disney/Pixar animated collaboration.
Carl Rudisill CAS was busy in the early part of the summer mixing the feature film The Beautiful Ordinary with Marshall McGee (boom) and Jenny Elsinger (second boom/sound utility). Carl has also worked on several other projects this summer, including a Toyota commercial featuring NASCAR drivers Darrell and Michael Waltrip, and an episode of Iconoclasts for the Sundance Channel featuring Dave Chappelle and Maya Angelou. After enjoying a little time off, Carl will begin mixing the feature film Asylum (Hyde Park Entertainment) in mid-September. Carl’s studio, North Star Post and Sound, Inc., which is located on the Screen Gems Studio lot in Wilmington, North Carolina, has also been busy with several projects including recording Elizabeth Edwards’ audio book Saving Graces. North Star will soon begin its fourth season recording principal ADR for the CW show One Tree Hill, and has several other projects lined up for audio
post production. North Star’s head audio engineer is Alex Markowski.
ward to mixing Raines, a new midseason series for NBC.
Phillip W. Palmer CAS has started the production of Jericho for CBS/Paramount on July 19, with an order of 13 episodes. We finished up the second season of Medium in mid-May and took a much-needed couple of months off. Jeff Zimmerman has returned as sound utility, and Patrick Martens has joined the crew as boom operator.
Steve Weiss CAS mixed the indie feature Cougar Club and then moved to the Showtime series Sleeper Cell with Brion Condon on boom and Dennis Carlin handling the utility.
Bob Israel CAS, boom operators Mat Dennis, Steve Arcabascio and Tom Caton, continue a busy summer of commercial projects for clients Supply & Demand, Furlined, PJM Productions, QuasiLogic, Concrete Pictures, Smuggler and Moving Parts.
Chris Haire CAS and Chris Elam CAS (C Squared) are freelance and currently mixing at Pacific Soundwaves in Burbank. We recently finished the series Windfall for NBC airing this summer and Cheetah Girls 2 for Disney. We have also been busy mixing independent features such as Totally Awesome, Phat Girls, Curiosity of Chance, Shanghai Kid, and Juncture during the summer. This fall we are looking for-
Eric Batut CAS will be mixing Fantastic Four 2. Studio is Fox, director is Tim Story, boom operator is Kelly Zombor and sound assistant is Candice Todesco. This quarter David Hewitt CAS and Remote Recording’s new Digital HD Audio Truck recorded the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala at the Apollo Theater and the annual Philadelphia Fourth of July Broadcast featuring Lionel Richie and the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra. Meanwhile, Hewitt and the classic Neve “Silver Studio” recorded such diverse shows as The Metropolitan Opera Gala and Jay Z With an Orchestra at Radio City Music Hall.
Darren Brisker CAS is currently mixing Good Luck Chuck, a comedy starring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba. Mere days after that wraps, it’ll be on to Case 39 with Renée Zellweger.
Philip Perkins CAS just finished the broadcast remix of To You Sweetheart, Aloha for PBS and is predubbing Speed and Angels for a mix at Skywalker Sound in August.
Brydon Baker CAS writes: I’m back on Season 3 of Grey’s Anatomy, after a hiatus and the Fox TV pilot Drive. The crew is Raul Bruce (boom) and Derek Cloud (utility) on Grey’s. On Drive, Raul and Damon Harris (utility).
Brad Harper CAS has just completed production on Sony Picture’s Walking Tall 2 and 3 in Texas. Aloha. Robert Anderson CAS has finished up his second half season of Monk. (I know this sounds confusing but that’s how the show shoots. Two half seasons a season. It’s a odd schedule.) And, I am off to the Hawaiian island of Oahu to mix the third season of Lost, with my longtime friend and boom man, Dennis Fuller, and a guy named Mumper. Mahalo.
Darrell Henke CAS is mixing the series Prison Break in Dallas, Texas, for 20th Century Fox TV. Stephen Tibbo CAS worked a short season on both Jake in Progress for ABC and Heist for NBC with Ken Strain on boom and John Fors on second boom. The crew recently wrapped Big Stan, the directorial debut of Rob Schneider.
John Pritchett CAS is in the middle of Paul Thomas Anderson’s turn-of-the-century oil epic There Will Be Blood shooting in the high desert of Marfa, Texas, (The Marfa Lights!!) and finishing in Los Angeles and surrounds. He did The Break-Up, which opened this summer as the biggest romantic comedy ever. And World Trade Center for Oliver Stone has just opened where he again had the expert help of Dave Roberts and Kelly Doran. After a whirlwind summer in India, Portugal, Spain and Morocco, Steven Grothe CAS is back for the second season of the Fox TV show, Bones. Also returning this year is the well-traveled Eddie Casares on boom and Greg Gardner as the much-appreciated, neverforgotten, sound utility and second boom. When not busy with his multiple other projects, Paul Marshall CAS is stepping in as the replacement mixer on first unit and as the primary second unit mixer.
Gavin Fernandes CAS has been busy mixing the action-comedy Bon Cop, Bad Cop from 26
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May to July on a double ICON rig. He recently signed on with Technicolor Creative Services in Montreal as chief mixer. Before starting on what looks like a busy fall in the studio, he will be responsible for the technical merge of TCS and Modulations, a recently purchased sound editorial company. “Season 2 of Postcards From Buster is in the can. I finished a short film, Christine 1403, in April and I’ve had my Holophone and Deva busy on The Sound of the Game doing surround recordings in MLB ballparks around the country throughout the summer. I just wrapped Season 1 of Be a Bruin, a hockey series where prospective Bruins compete for an invitation to training camp.” G. John Garrett CAS
David M. Boothe CAS is mixing and supervising sound on the fourth DVD of Boz, the Bear Next Door, along with mixer Frank Pittenger and editor Oliver Benavides. Boz is a direct-to-home-video project of Exclaim! Entertainment. The same team completed the first three DVDs earlier this year.
Steve Nelson CAS, Roger Stevenson and Frank Bradley, back together again, after completing DreamWorks’ Norbit, leave the feature world and plunge back into episodic television with Season 2 of Ghost Whisperer. Some news: Frank left Norbit early (replaced by James Eric) to help his wife, Mary, bring into the world Margaret and Kathleen. Congratulations and welcome! Also, thanks to Mark Ulano CAS covering for me so I could enjoy a worry-free European vacation and to Walt Martin covering for me on Ghost Whisperer while I finished the feature. Come see us; we’re usually somewhere at Universal.
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Alan “Danger” Freedman CAS has just finished recording ADR for Rogue for Dimension Films and Home of the Brave for New Line Cinema, directed by Irwin Winkler. In mid-August, Alan will be taking over the ADR stage on The Lot in West Hollywood. Itzhak “Ike” Magal CAS adds: I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona. I’ll be the only sound mixer in Sedona.
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“I just finished filming Saigon Eclipse. A love story with a twist, in present-day Viet Nam. World premiere is planned to be December 2006. My local boom op was Dinh Kaotung.” Emmanuel Clemente CAS
Todd Grace CAS has joined with Ed Carr CAS in Warner Brothers Dubbing Stage 2. Recently, they also began predubs
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on Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn. After finishing the film, they are scheduled for a busy television season including The Nine (ABC), Help Me Help You (ABC), and The O.C. (FOX). “It’s been a busy year. It started with Walden Media’s Bridge to Terabithia shot on location in New Zealand and now I am on the last leg of The Waterhorse, Jay Russell’s new movie again shot in New Zealand and Scotland. It will be nice to get out of winter down here and into the Scottish summer for a few weeks. Regards.” Tony Johnson CAS Having completed the brutal first season of the hit series Prison Break for Fox, shot primarily at the prison facility in Joliet, Illinois, Scott D. Smith CAS and his crew, Jason Johnston (boom) and Jim Gaudio (utility), have begun filming on the movie Quebec for The Weinstein Company. The film is the directing debut for Steve Conrad, who penned the film The Weather Man.
Simply the best audio out there.
[thinking inside the box]
ADR Foley Re-Recording Sound Supervision Sound Design and Editorial Scoring DVD Audio Mastering Archive
Post Production Services email@example.com www.wbpostproduction.com 818.954.2515 Transfer Laydown/Layback Screening Rooms Projection Services Emerging Media
© and ™ 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All right reserved.
The Universal Studios Sound Department has been busy working on the following feature and television business: On the feature front, Andy Koyama and Chris Carpenter recently completed Accepted, Little Man, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Omen. Chris Jenkins and Frank Montano wrapped Lucky You and Little Children. Gregg Landaker and Peter Reale wrapped You, Me and Dupree and will be jumping right into Universal’s Breach. Television mixers Roberta Doheny and Robert Edmonson CAS completed Criminal Intent and Ghost Whisperer in Studio 1. Bill Nicholson and Tom Meloeny CAS also finished Law & Order: SVU and Conviction in Studio 2. In Studio 5, Gerry Lentz CAS and Richard Weingart finished House and Crossing Jordan and are currently mixing Eureka. Michael Olman CAS and Kenneth Kobett CAS finished their TV slate of Desperate Housewives, 24, and Battlestar Galactica in BluWave’s Studio B. They are currently mixing Universal’s feature Silence and Fox’s pilot Drive. Our sitcom mixers in Studio A, John Cook and Peter Nusbaum, continue to mix Scrubs and various halfhour single, multicam, and pilot projects. We would like to congratulate the following mixers for their Emmy nominations: Michael Olman and Kenneth Kobett were nominated for 24 and Battlestar Galactica in Dub B. Gerry Lentz and Richard Weingart were nominated for House in Dub 5. •
The 43rd Annual CAS Awards Schedule
Mon., Oct. 2, 2006
ESF (Entry Submission Form) downloadable on website Mon., Oct. 16, 2006
ESF mailed to membership Fri., Dec. 8, 2006
Entry Submissions due by 5 p.m. Wed., Dec. 27, 2006
Nominations Ballot mailed Fri., Jan. 12, 2007
Nominations Ballot received by 5 p.m. Thu., Jan. 18, 2007
Final Five Nominees announced Mon., Jan. 22, 2007
Ron Estes passed away on July 13, 2006, in Studio City,
Final Ballot mailed
California, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Fri., Feb. 9, 2007
Born in Cape Gerardo, Missouri, he came to Los
Final Ballot received by 5 p.m.
Angeles after starting his audio career at KOGO radio
Sat., Feb. 17, 2007
The 43rd Annual CAS Awards The Biltmore Bowl, Millennium-Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
and TV in San Diego and became a master craftsman in our industry. Ron was a former Governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) and also served on the National Awards Committee of the Academy. Widely regarded as a pioneer in the transfor-
mation of television broadcast sound from mono to stereo
New! 1/3 smaller & less than 2 lbs!
and later to surround and 5.1, he was a frequent guest speaker at seminars. His credits include The Tonight
Show Starring Johnny Carson, which he mixed from
The Denecke TS-C is a compact full featured smart slate, capable of reading, generating and displaying SMPTE/EBU time code. Its compact size makes the TS-C ideal for documentary work, insert shots, EFP style shooting or anywhere a big slate is too cumbersome.
1980 to 1991, Omen IV: The Awakening, The
Tournament of Roses Parade and the KTLA Morning News. Some of his Emmy Award–nominations were for such varied programs as Our Town, Cop Rock, and L.A.
Law. He won Emmy Awards for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Sheena Easton ... Act One.
For engineering the first stereo television broadcast (July
- Extended (12 step) display intensity & electro-luminescent face-plate.
26, 1984—The Tonight Show), Ron was a Certificate of
- Jams to all standard frame rates, including 23.976 for HD. - Auto-sets to incoming frame rates. Re-jams without powering down.
Achievement honoree by the ATAS in 2004. His accom-
- Plus 1 frame correction to display the real time when in read mode.
plishments were many. His admirers were even more. He
- Aaton serial communication via 5-pin Lemo plug (ASCII source).
was a perfectionist and he never settled for less than the
- 16 bit Flash microprocessor with greater accuracy, allowing future firmware upgrades.
best while maintaining the respect of his peers.
–Fred Tator, CAS
25030 West Avenue Stanford Suite 240 Valencia, CA 91355 Choice of standard Voice (661) 607-0206 Black & White or Fax (661) 257-2236 color clapper sticks www.denecke.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rob Young, CAS prepares for a moving shot.
Emmanuel Clemente, CAS on
Nicholas Allen, CAS and the
boys in the Warner jungle on Invasion last year. 4. David K. Grant, CAS (right) on set of war film Going Back with boom operator Donald Santos of Platoon. Jungle words of wisdom: Don’t park cart under the shade of the coconut tree when explosions start—coconuts fall, umbrella looks familiar—Jaws. 5. Coleman Metts, CAS on the job. 6. David Roberts and John Pritchett, CAS atop the replica of Ground Zero re-created at the Playa Vista Studios in Los Angeles.
David Hewitt, CAS and manager Karen Brinton inside Remote Recording’s new Digital HD audio truck. 8. Michal Holubec, CAS and Jan Skala on the set of Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 9. Paul Vik Marshall, CAS and boom op Mitch Cohn at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, doing a Suzuki spot. It was 110ºF in the shade on the flats. 10. Ike Magal, CAS and family on the Cape. 7.
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