FEATURES 47th Annual CAS Awards Nominations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CAS Career Achievement Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Jeff Wexler, CAS receives highest honor
Filmmaker Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Taylor Hackford to receive accolade
Technical Awards Noms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Digital Gameplan Seminar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 A comprehensive overview
The Possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Part two of on-set adventures
Virtual Surround Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 How good have we become?
Got Protection? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Enter the “AudioSlicker”
16 DEPARTMENTS President’s Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Happy New Year!
From the Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Technically Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Pro Tools and analog summing
Been There Done That . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 CAS members check in
The Lighter Side . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Cover: Jeff Wexler, CAS
THE PRESIDENTâ€™S LETTER
Happy New Year! I send you my sincerest hopes for a very successful and prosperous new year for all of us. This year appears to be getting off to good start. The Cinema Audio Society is also getting off to a good start. As we begin 2011, I am happy to report that as a result of the diligent efforts of your Board of Directors over the course of the past several terms, the CAS has become increasingly more stable. The Board of Directors has followed through on the mandate from the membership to become more responsible and go green. As you should be aware, the CAS has just implemented a total electronic election and awards voting process. This is historic. Just as the Cinema Audio Society is committed to the advancement of sound, it is also committed to responding to the membership and taking a leadership role within the industry. The Digital Gameplan Seminar was a very successful and educational event. It demonstrated our goal of informing and educating the industry about how we work and collaborate on the future needs of our sound community. The informative paper that was handed out as part of the seminar will be available on our website and will be updated at regular intervals so that the CAS can be a resource to all of our members and colleagues. As we prepare for the 47th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our nominees the best of luck. I feel the strength and recognition that the CAS Awards have achieved within the industry is quite remarkable and something for this organization to be extremely proud of. That achievement does not come easily and without a lot of hard work by many very, very dedicated individuals. It would be difficult for me to individually name all of them but on behalf of the membership I extend my sincere gratitude to each and every one of them. I want to remind you that the 47th Annual CAS Awards will take place on February 19, 2011, in the Crystal Ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. We are honoring Jeff Wexler, CAS with our Career Achievement Award and Taylor Hackford will receive our Filmmaker Award. It will be a great evening. I look forward to sharing the eveningâ€™s festivities with all of you.
Edward L. Moskowitz, CAS President of the Cinema Audio Society
47TH CAS AWARDS TIMETABLE Final Voting closes 5 p.m., Sat., Feb. 12, 2011 47th CAS Awards Sat., Feb. 19, 2011
CAS WINTER 2011 NEW MEMBERS Active Doug Andham, CAS Onnalee Blank, CAS Tamas Csaba, CAS Marc Cyr, CAS Steven Guercio, CAS Christopher Koch, CAS
Jim Mansen, CAS Robert Scherer, CAS Robert Sharman, CAS Roger V. Stevenson, CAS Bartek Swiatek, CAS Glen Trew, CAS
Associate John Baker
Student Sean Blanche Melissa Chapman Jonathan Greasley
Zachary Mueller Tyler Swafford
CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY MISSION STATEMENT To educate and inform the general public and the motion picture and television industry that effective sound is achieved by a creative, artistic and technical blending of diverse sound elements. To provide the motion picture and television industry with a progressive society of master craftsmen specialized in the art of creative cinematic sound recording. To advance the specialized field of cinematic sound recording by exchange of ideas, methods, and information. To advance the art of auditory appreciation, and to philanthropically support those causes dedicated to the sense of hearing. To institute and maintain high standards of conduct and craftsmanship among our members. To aid the motion picture and television industry in the selection and training of qualified personnel in the unique field of cinematic sound recording. To achieve for our members deserved recognition as major contributors to the field of motion picture and television entertainment.
FROM THE EDITORS...
Happy 2011, CAS members! Hopefully, this issue finds your new year off to a good start. Some of you will have your year start off with an added bonus—perhaps a CAS Award to put on the mantle (congratulations to all of our nominees!). To get us in the mood, Pete Damski, CAS brings us an interview with our 2011 CAS Career Achievement Award honoree, Jeff Wexler, CAS. James Ridgley, CAS provides us with Part 2 of his on set experiences from his most recent film The Possession. Karol Urban, CAS discusses some of the issues encountered when trying to emulate surround audio via two-channel systems. Matt Foglia, CAS provides a recap of January’s Digital Gameplan seminar, while G. John Garrett, CAS brings us some interesting insight on analog vs. digital summation in his “Technically Speaking” column. Also, Will Hansen, CAS tries on some gear aimed at protecting location mixers from the elements. And, as always, you can see what your fellow members are up to in the “Been There Done That” section and rib them a little at the CAS Awards ceremony (February 19) about their “Lighter Side” submissions. The CAS Quarterly is produced as a service to our members on a voluntary basis. A special “thank you” goes out to those taking the time to contribute articles. Remember, we greatly appreciate and want your feedback and suggestions—so send them in! Email us at CASquarterly@CinemaAudioSociety.org. We also truly value the support of our sponsors and encourage your commitment to them. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and busy 2011! Peter Damski, CAS
Matt Foglia, CAS
President: Edward L. Moskowitz Vice President: John Coffey Treasurer: R.D. Floyd Secretary: David J. Bondelevitch BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Agamemnon Andrianos Bob Beemer Gary Bourgeois David E. Fluhr Ed Greene Tomlinson Holman
Frank Morrone Lee Orloff Lisa Pinero Greg P. Russell Jeff Wexler
Bob Bronow Joe Foglia Peter R. Damski Paul Rodriguez OFFICE MANAGER
Patti Fluhr EDITORS
Peter Damski Matt Foglia
Celebrating 35 Years of Precision!
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Analog mixing? In my Pro Tools suite?
It’s more likely than you think. by G. J ohn Gar r et t , CAS
I had the opportunity to spend a good part of the last few months wiring a new state-of-the-art control room for the studios of some well-known pop/dance artists. This was my first experience working with Pro Tools HD. As part of the specifications for the new room, I discovered that a passive analog mixer was included in the racks. Now, why on earth would you want to take your high-resolution Pro Tools tracks through a bunch of nice metal film resistors? This question has led me to some unexpected answers, some of them including the word “maybe.” Analog summation has become popular mainly with music engineers. They will mix in Pro Tools but use these really nice fixed gain passive analog mixers to sum everything together. They’re still doing volume rides, pans and most effects processing in the box. The outputs, however, are split as post-fader stems (or individual tracks if they have enough I/O), sent to an analog box-of-resistors for summing. Then, the summed stereo mix is recorded back into Pro Tools after A/D conversion. One of the first explanations I got was that if you have a bunch of 24-bit files and start adding them together in a mix (mathematical addition!) and you’re in a 24-bit environment, you immediately run out of places to put bits and have to start truncating the least significant bits from the individual files. Then you have a bunch of less-than-24-bit files mixing into one (or a stereo pair) of 24-bit files. This makes sense (but it ain’t necessarily so!), and I can understand taking tracks out to analog, mixing the already relative levels and going back into a mic pre, A/D and Pro Tools. Yes, you need very good converters, and the mic pre will determine a lot in the final sound, because none of that happens 8
without some errors or coloration. If you do it right, those errors sound better than digital files that have been degraded by some upstream process. Maybe it’s like engineers who will send their two-mix through an analog tape machine to warm it up a little. The analog artifacts sound good. They don’t remove any digital artifacts, but they must be masking them in a way that works. I started calling some real experts, smart guys with advanced degrees, AES fellows, renowned inventors and engineers, and started asking them my question. The first thing I heard was something like “Yes, but everybody uses Floating Point Math and none of those issues are much concern anymore.” But, but .... wait. I’ve heard rumors that a major console manufacturer is working on a mix environment that’s 512 bits wide. Why would they bother? One answer was that maybe they were doing it for the bragging rights, even though the speed limit is 70, a 3,000 horsepower car still must be impressive. But that’s a lot of expense to go to with seemingly not enough return to make it worthwhile. I don’t have an answer. Yet. With Pro Tools at least (and some other NLEs), you can run into trouble if you’re not careful. I learned that the TDM plug-in part of Pro Tools is a 24-bit Fixed Point Math environment. At least one other editing platform in use today is 24-bit fixed all the way through. So you bring a signal off disk into the TDM (or any fixed point) chain and the first plug-in you use is going to do something to the signal, shifting bits to the left or the right. When you’ve used four or five more plug-ins, by the time you’re done, the resolution can be shot. Reduce the gain and lose bits. Increase the gain after that and you don’t get ’em back. The visual analog to this is if you make a nice big beau-
FILMMAKING. GREAT ACTING. GREAT MOVIE”.
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A BEAUTIFUL AND
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SOUL - SATISFYING
CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING - NOMINEE
PRODUCTION MIXER PETER F. KURLAND
RE-RECORDING MIXERS SKIP LIEVSAY, CRAIG BERKEY, GREG ORLOFF
tiful digital photo and save it as a .jpg file with say, 256 color levels. You decide to reduce the size of the file to save disk space or fit in a document. When you re-display this file in its original size, it looks awful. The detail is gone, but it’s still 256 colors. I know that most signals rarely have all the bits in a word occupied. If you lop off the most significant bit, you lose half your quantization potential, and half of what’s left with the next bit. Those values are usually zeroes for the sake of headroom. But there’s always something in the least significant bits. In classical recordings especially, the quiet passages are entirely low-order bits. I’m not going to get into a noise discussion this time though. RTAS plug-ins do work in a floating point environment, but if you have RTAS and TDM plug-ins working on the same file, you’re in a 24-bit fixed environment. Now, the Pro Tools HD mixer is 48-bit fixed point and the master fader is a scaler that controls the input to that 48-bit environment, which is plenty of bit space and resolution (very important at the less significant bits!) for most projects that I could imagine. If you’ve already lost resolution coming out of the TDM chain though, you’re stuck.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re just automatically in trouble, but you have to pay attention to the gain structure when you do the initial recording as well as where levels are before you start doing fixed point processes in the box. I started to think this is where good converters and passive analog mixing might make sense. Avoid multiple plug-ins and level changes in the TDM section of the box and you’ll avoid some, or even a lot, of the problems that degrade the tracks. Go out to the passive mixer and back into the box with your TDM tracks and you may be avoiding more degradation. At least you can then do the RTAS plug-ins in floating point mode and the artifacts that the mic pre that follows introduces probably make the material sound warmer. But then I heard from guys who use Pro Tools every day and it didn’t make sense to them! My initial assumption was that there must be some big reason for doing passive mixing. The conclusion I’ve come to is that passive mixing sounds different, and the users like that difference. I haven’t yet been able to completely quantify why, but as Dave Moulton said it may be an article of religious faith. Thanks to Barry Blesser, George Massenburg, David Moulton and others for giving input for this installment. I’m not giving direct attribution because if there’s something wrong somewhere, trust me, it’s not them, it’s me that got something wrong. •
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR
MOTION PICTURES: Black Swan Production Mixer Ken Ishii, CAS Re-recording Mixers Dominick Tavella, CAS Craig Henighan
The Cinema Audio Society will host the 47th Annual Awards on Saturday, February 19, 2011, in the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the CAS Career Achievement Award to production sound mixer Jeff Wexler, CAS. Another highlight is the presentation of the CAS Filmmaker Award to director Taylor Hackford. Awards for outstanding mixing will be presented in five categories. Winners will be announced in the categories for Motion Pictures; Television Movies and Mini-Series; Television Series; Television Non-Fiction, Variety, Music Series or Specials; and DVD Original Programming. For the seventh year in a row, the CAS will present two Technical Achievement Awards honoring technical innovation in the areas of production and post-production sound. The event kicks off with cocktails in the Tiffany Room at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:45 p.m., followed by the awards presentation at 8 p.m. To order tickets, contact office manager Patti Fluhr at (818) 752-8624 or e-mail CasOffice@CinemaAudioSociety.org. Event address: The Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. 12
Inception Production Mixer Ed Novick Re-recording Mixers Lora Hirschberg Gary A. Rizzo
Shutter Island Production Mixer Petur Hliddal Re-recording Mixer Tom Fleischman, CAS
The Social Network Production Mixer Mark Weingarten, CAS Re-recording Mixers Ren Klyce David Parker Michael Semanick, CAS
True Grit Production Mixer Peter F. Kurland, CAS Re-recording Mixers Skip Lievsay, CAS Craig Berkey, CAS Greg Orloff, CAS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR
TV MOVIES & MINI-SERIES:
The Pacific Part 2 Production Mixer Andrew Ramage Re-recording Mixers Michael Minkler, CAS Daniel Leahy
24 “3:00 PM-4:00 PM” Production Mixer William F. Gocke, CAS Re-recording Mixers Michael G. Olman, CAS Kenneth Kobett, CAS
The Pacific Part 5
Production Mixer Andrew Ramage Re-recording Mixers Michael Minkler, CAS Daniel Leahy Craig Mann
“A Return to Normalcy” Episode 12 Production Mixer Franklin D. Stettner, CAS Re-recording Mixer Tom Fleischman, CAS
The Pacific Part 8
Dexter “Take It”
Production Mixer Gary Allen Wilkins, CAS Re-recording Mixers Michael Minkler, CAS Daniel Leahy Marc Fishman
Production Mixer Greg Agalsoff Re-recording Mixers Pete Elia, CAS Kevin Roache
The Pacific Part 9 Production Mixer Gary Allen Wilkins, CAS Re-recording Mixers Michael Minkler, CAS Daniel Leahy
Glee “The Power
Production Mixer Ethan Andrus Re-recording Mixer Rick Ash
“Chirp” Production Mixer Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS Re-recording Mixer Dean Okrand
of Madonna” Production Mixer Phillip W. Palmer, CAS Re-recording Mixers Joseph H. Earle Jr., CAS Doug Andham, CAS
20 2010 010 10 nominees n nominee nomine no ominee omi omine ee es OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR
TELEVISION NON-FICTION, VARIETY, MUSIC SERIES OR SPECIALS:
DVD ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING:
Baseball “The Tenth Inning: Bottom of the Tenth” Production Mixer Lou Verrico Re-recording Mixer Dominick Tavella, CAS
Production Mixer Michael Williamson, CAS Re-recording Mixer Eric Lalicata, CAS
“Redemption Day” Re-recording Mixer Bob Bronow, CAS
Production Mixer Kent Romney Re-recording Mixers Mark Server David Raines, CAS
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
Lost Boys: The Thirst
Production Mixer Bruce Cameron Re-recording Mixer Ian Rodness
Production Mixer Conrad Kuhne Re-recording Mixers Kelly Vandever Todd Beckett
Great Performances at the Met “Armida”
Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back
Music Mixer - Live Performance Jay David Saks Re-recording Mixer Ken Hahn, CAS
Production Mixer Eric Lewis, CAS Re-recording Mixers Mark Rozett, CAS Kelly Vandever
Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue
Production Mixer Roger Phenix Re-recording Mixer Ed Campbell
30 Days of Night: Dark Days
Production Mixer Doc Kane Re-recording Mixers David E. Fluhr, CAS Adam Jenkins
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An Interview With Production Mixer
Jeff Wexler by Pet er Dam s k i, CAS
JEFF WEXLER, CAS is this year’s recipient of the CAS Career Achievement Award. Wexler has been mixing sound on production since the early 1970s and has seen film production and technology go through many changes. Wexler not only embraces these changes, but has always been a trendsetter willing to try new technology and commit to it when others were hesitant. He grew up in the film industry and has done a great deal to advance production sound in terms of quality and respectability. Wexler has also always been an active leader, lecturer, and teacher. He is still a strong proponent of maintaining an open line of communication between sound professionals and maintains an oft-visited blog at JWSound.net. I am always amazed by the credit lists of our Career Achievement recipients and Wexler’s resume does not disappoint. I had an opportunity to ask Wexler several questions, the answers to which should be of interest to our membership. Why did you choose sound as your profession? I had no intention of getting into the movie business—I had been around the movies all my life, riding on the camera dolly at the age of 2, never really thought about doing that work. I was in college for many years preparing to teach sociology at the college level. One summer, my father strongly suggested that I get a summer job (I think he was tired of funding my schooling 16
and it looked like I might just be a perpetual student). He got me a job working on a movie, which his old friend Hal Ashby was doing in the San Francisco Bay area where I was going to school. The film was Harold and Maude and I was given a production assistant job working in the art department with the production designer and the property master. The first day on the set I knew for the first time that this is what I want to do; I felt so at home on the set and I was really enjoying contributing to the movie, seeing my work right up on the screen at dailies. When I finished that movie, I decided I would start working on movies, but I wanted to do something more technical than the art department. So it would be either camera or sound. It was not going to be camera. I am not a very competitive sort of person and I really didn’t want to follow in my father’s footsteps, those are big shoes to fill, so I chose sound. What was your first production as a sound person? I worked one day as a boom operator on a commercial—disaster! I loved the whole listening part but it was obvious to me and the mixer I was booming for, that I should not be a boom operator. So I just declared myself a sound mixer and was offered a job on a low-budget nonunion film being produced by Gene Corman, Roger Corman’s brother. When I went in for the interview, I think Gene sort of assumed that since I was Haskell’s son I
Above: Jeff Wexler, CAS at work. Left to right: Wexler on the stick, on Coming Home, with Dolly Parton, and on The Natural.
would be a great sound mixer, so he gave me the job, completely unaware that I had never actually mixed a movie before! It was total on-the-job training for me but I discovered that I had a real advantage over a lot of other first timers: I had acquired so much knowledge and understanding of the whole process of movie-making, almost viscerally, over all the years of being on the set with my father, going to dailies, sitting in the editing room, visiting Stage A at Todd-AO and watching Buzz Knudsen do a dialog pre-dub. I sort of actually knew what I was doing. What was the technology like at that time? When I got that first movie, I knew what I was supposed to look like doing the job but I really was not too familiar with the gear. At the suggestion of my good friend Andy Davis (the movie was Andy’s first feature film as a cameraman), rather than hire a boom operator, I hired a teacher. Andy had a good friend who taught in the film department at the University of Illinois and was willing to come out to Los Angeles to work as the boom operator on the movie. Every day on the set whenever we had the time, I would ask questions (in the same way I had always asked my father questions and almost always got really good answers): “What does this switch do?” “What is the difference between LF-1 and LF-2?” “What is azimuth and why does it matter?” We got through the movie and actually did a reason-
ably good job. My boom operator and teacher was Tomlinson Holman—not such a great boom operator but the best teacher anyone could ever hope for. During the course of that movie, I learned so much about the equipment: the Nagra 4 mono fulltrack ¼” tape recorder, the Nagra BMT mixer, the Sela 4-input mixer, AKG and Sennheiser microphones and Vega wireless with Sony ECM-50 lavalier microphones. What was your most difficult shoot, technically? I think one of the most difficult shoots technically was my first really big movie when I finally got in the union. The movie was Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory, a period movie about the life of Woody Guthrie. There were huge technical challenges but I think I was too young and inexperienced at the time to even realize what we were trying to do. The movie had lots of dialog, fight scenes, car stuff, shooting on trains, and music! Hal decided early on that we would do all the music live—we had no playback, no pre-records, so I just approached the singing and guitar playing like dialog. I did have the use of the brand-new stereo (two-track) Nagra, which we did use for some scenes involving music. My father was the director of photography and it was also the movie that first used the Steadicam. It was my job, of course, to record sync sound with Garrett Brown operating the one and only Steadicam prototype, which conCAS QUARTERLY
sisted of a highly modified un-blimped Arri 2C—good luck! I managed to do it all on that movie and the recording of “This Land Is Your Land” on top of the moving train sort of put me on the map career-wise. What was your favorite shoot, if you have one? Being There is generally the movie that I feel is my overall favorite. It was such a special movie where everyone was able to do the best work of their careers. Hal Ashby was such an amazing person, a true collaborator who had such an incredible respect for every person on the crew. Being There was special for me in that it was one of the few movies that I was able to follow through and work not only production sound but also in post. Hal wanted me to participate and supervise all through the post process on the movie, which was a wonderful learning process for me. When the movie was released, Hal gave me a single-card credit at the front of the movie.
always be with us regardless of the steady progression of technological advancements in the gear we use. What digital audio brought to us is predictability, repeatability, in a manner not possible with analog. When I first used the original Zaxcom Deva I (which was the first-ever file-based recording device designed specifically for production recording), I remember remarking that we would all soon be moving from our DAT (tape-based) machines to the file-based recorder; a move from a machine with thousands of moving parts (the DAT recorder) to a machine with one moving part (the hard drive in the Deva). This brought an unprecedented stability and reliability to the recorders we use. Sound is sound regardless of how it is acquired—as I have said many times, a good conversation with the director in the morning is a far greater assurance of achieving good production sound than any piece of equipment I can show up with.
What work are you most proud of? Interestingly enough, the work that I am most proud of is not specifically the sound work on any particular movie. The work I am most proud of is the help and guidance I have given to others starting out in this business. I think I am still a teacher at heart and I find it very gratifying to participate in workshops and seminars, educational events and guest lectures—these are the things I am proud of. I am also proud of the help that I have given to first-time directors, help not only in learning necessary things about sound recording, but help in understanding the whole process of making a movie. If my participation on a movie had been limited to just recording sound, I don’t think I would have worked on movies this last 40 years. It is about the relationships with people, the pleasure that I have had sharing my knowledge and experience with others, pioneering and developing new technologies and procedures.
You have seen many changes in approach and technology. What works and what doesn’t? What doesn’t work for me is the all-too prevalent and indiscriminate use of multiple cameras necessitating that all production sound be recorded using microphones on the actor’s bodies. There have been wonderful advancements in the quality of lavalier (body worn) microphones and wireless transmission (with Zaxcom Digital wireless it is truly just like a hard-wired microphone), but there is a serious penalty to the soundtrack. What is lost is perspective sound recording. The microphone on an actor’s chest has no point of view, no realistic context, it is basically a radio show (pun intended). In the old days, perspective sound, dialog that is recorded in a manner that matches the image, was achieved quite easily when using one camera at a time and usually a boom mic positioned in relation to the size of the frame. This is not possible now with current shooting practices and I feel that this has reduced the creative and meaningful contribution of the dialog recording on a movie or television project.
What do you see as the advantages vs. the disadvantages of analog and digital audio? The fundamental challenges of production sound recording will
What do you see as the future of production sound? What role will the production mixer play? Unfortunately, I do not see a lot of good things in the present
From left: Wexler on City Slickers II in Moab, Utah, with Goldie Hawn on Foul Play, with Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, and in an insert car on Strange Days.
or for the future. All of the on-set production crafts, including even the camera, are being marginalized under the pressure of unrealistic schedules, out-of-control budgets, and oversight by mega-corporations with only a profit-driven bottom-line interest in the production process. Our jobs as production sound people are not going to go away, someone will always have to have the responsibility of ensuring that the sound is recorded properly. What has changed is the expectation from the producer (employer) that good sound can be achieved while paying less for the equipment required, hiring fewer people to do the job and accomplishing all of this in half the time. I suppose it really isn’t so much different than lots of other industries—it is just that I have had a good 30 years doing this job where the expectation for truly great creative sound was the primary concern. As for the future, our jobs will continue to become much more complex and it will be necessary for us all to be constantly updating our knowledge and understanding of the tools we use and the work we do.
can do to help get a sense of the job you would like to be doing. All the years I had visiting the set, the editing room, the screening room and the dubbing stage, were incredibly valuable to me once I made the decision to make sound recording my career.
What recommendations do you have for someone starting out in this business? I would say first and foremost, and I know this is a cliché, you have to love what you do. I love to listen. I am a very visual person, and I do believe that vision is our primary sense, but even as a very young child, I was always intrigued by what I could “see” by listening. When I was a kid and my mother would have a party with friends over, people talking, music playing, and at some point she would send me upstairs to my room to bed. I would go up to my room, but instead of getting in bed, I would lie down with my ear pressed to the floor—I would listen to the voices, the music, people milling around in the living room, and with this I could feel that I was still downstairs and a part of the party. I really enjoyed deciphering the muffled sounds filtering through the floorboards and constructing the image of the party in the living room. This was my first experience at critical listening and I really dug it.
Tell us a little about your family? As we probably all know by now, my father is Haskell Wexler (who hates being called the legendary cinematographer). He is one of the greatest cameramen and filmmakers, and also a wonderful father in spite of all the obstacles that a career in movies puts up against family life. When I started working on movies, I was away on location a lot and it puts a real strain on the family, but I have two wonderful children (not really kids anymore) and a 2-year-old granddaughter. When my kids were little, they would often come visit me on location in much the same way I had visited my father when I was a kid, and this helped our relationship and allowed my kids to see the world at an early age. •
I would recommend to anyone contemplating a career in sound to spend as much time as you can observing the work being done—visit a set if you can, get a tour of a studio, anything you
What is the last project you worked on? Anything new coming up for you? The last movie I did was Horrible Bosses, a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, directed by Seth Gordon (I worked with Seth on Four Christmases). Coming up, I will be working with Cameron Crowe again on We Bought a Zoo. Cameron Crowe is my favorite director having done Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky and Elizabethtown with him. Cameron and I share the profound belief in the power of music to move the soul and, like Hal Ashby, Cameron has a respect and appreciation for the team, allowing everyone to do great work.
I would like to thank Mr. Wexler for sharing his insight and experience with the CAS members. Please join us in honoring Jeff Wexler at the 47th Annual CAS Awards on February 19, 2011. The festivities will once again be held in the Crystal Ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. Tickets can now be purchased for the event. For tickets and more information, contact Patti Fluhr in the office at 818.752.8624. CAS QUARTERLY
Taylor y to receive Hackford Filmmaker Award
Academy Award–winning feature film and documentary director Taylor Hackford will receive the CAS Filmmaker Award at the 47th CAS Awards on February 19, 2011, at the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium-Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. “The Cinema Audio Society is thrilled to be honoring the talented producer-director-writer Taylor Hackford as this year’s Filmmaker recipient. Taylor has demonstrated time and time again his ability to go from dialogue to action to music with a respect for sound always uppermost in his process. Once again, we are delighted to have synergy between our Career Achievement recipient, Jeff S. Wexler, CAS and our Filmmaker honoree through their collaborations on the Oscar-winning An Officer and a Gentleman, Everyone’s AllAmerican, The Devil’s Advocate and Against All Odds. We look forward to another year of honoring the best in the sound mixing field at this year’s award,” said CAS President Edward L. Moskowitz. Hackford, president of the Directors Guild of America, has helmed such iconic feature films as Ray, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Sound Mixing. In 2009, Hackford received rave reviews for the musical Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Though the production was his stage directorial debut, the show was an unqualified hit playing for more than eight months. Hackford is also the director/producer behind the cult thriller Dolores Claiborne, and the films White Nights and Proof of Life. In addition, he developed and produced La Bamba, the most successful Latin-themed feature film in history. His feature documentary work is equally acclaimed, with Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll and the Oscar-winning When We Were Kings, a behind-the-scenes look at the legend20
ary 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.” Hackford is the sixth recipient of the CAS Filmmaker Award. Past honorees have included Quentin Tarantino, Gil Cates, Bill Condon, Paul Mazursky and Henry Selick. Previously announced honoree, production sound mixer Jeff S. Wexler, CAS will receive the Cinema Audio Society’s highest accolade, the CAS Career Achievement Award. Wexler will be the 29th CAS Career Achievement Award honoree. Past honorees include Ray Dolby, Robert Altman, Jack Solomon, John Bonner, Bill Varney, Don Rogers, Walter Murch, Jim Webb, Richard Portman, Tomlinson Holman, Mike Minkler and Ed Greene, Dennis Sands, Dennis L. Maitland, Sr. and Randy Thom, CAS. KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin will be returning as Master of Ceremonies at the awards dinner which will also honor Outstanding Achievements in Sound Mixing in five categories; Motion Pictures; Television Movies and Mini-Series; Television Series; Television Non-Fiction, Variety, Music Series or Specials and DVD Original Programming. The Cinema Audio Society, a philanthropic, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1964 for the purpose of sharing information with sound professionals in the motion picture and television industry. On the evening of the awards, the Cinema Audio Society website will be updated in real time as the winners are announced at http://www.cinemaaudiosociety.org. To attend and/or cover these awards, please contact Dorothea Sargent at Dorothea. Sargent@gmail.com or call 818.786.4744/310.779.6848. For tribute/congratulatory ads in the program book, please contact Dan Dodd of IngleDodd Publishing at Dan@IngleDodd.com or call 310.207.4410 ext. 236.•
Portable, battery powered digital snake S-0808 8x8 Input / Output Unit The Roland S-0808 is an 8 x 8 digital snake designed for professional ďŹ eld recording and location sound applications. The lightweight and rugged construction make it ideal for ďŹ lm, sporting events, or newsgathering. The S-0808 is powered by REAC Embedded Power, External Battery Options or Power over Ethernet (PoE). External battery options include NP Style, V-Mount (IDX), or Gold Mount (Anton Bauer) battery systems. All inputs employ a high quality preamp with fully discreet circuit design resulting in outstanding sound. Input gain (-65 to +10dBu), Pad and full Phantom Power can be remotely controlled via a dedicated S-4000R Remote Controller or the free PC Remote Control Software (S-4000RCS). When using as part of a V-Mixing System, these parameters are controlled directly from the M-400 or M-380 Digital Consoles. The S-0808 can be used in conjunction with the S-4000M REAC Merge Unit to expand the number of inputs used in the digital snake conďŹ guration. www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/s0808
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2010 CAS technical awards nominees The Cinema Audio Society is proud to announce the nominees for the 7th Annual CAS Technical Achievement Awards. An award will be presented for new technologies in both the production and post-production disciplines at a sealed envelope ceremony on Saturday, February 19, 2011, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. Nominations were submitted by the membership of the CAS and a “Blue Ribbon” panel made the final determination of the selected nominees listed below. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our 2010 Technical Achievement nominees and look forward to sharing the festivities with them on February 19.
production nominees Schoeps SuperCMIT Shotgun Microphone
Roland S-0808 Digital Snake Sound Devices CL-9 Controller for the 788T Lectrosonics SMV Series Variable Power Super-Miniature Digital Hybrid Wireless® UHF Belt Pack Transmitter
Zaxcom TRX-900LT Digital Recording Wireless Transmitter
Dolby Media Meter 2
Audio Ease Speakerphone 2
AMS/Neve DFC Gemini with USP engine Singular Software PluralEyes
iZotope Rx II
Fo ogy l o n ech Nex s&T l t Gene o o T , t n ration Tale
• ADR • Sound Design & Editorial • Re-Recording
• Cutting Rooms • DVD Audio Mastering • Optical Sound Track Negative
r Your F
• • • • •
ilm or Television
Negative Cutting Layback /QC 4K Screening Rooms 3D Projection State of the Art Digital Media Center
A Review of
The Digital Game
ince I’m always up for gaining some additional insight into production/post-production problem solving, I headed out to the West Coast for the CAS Digital Gameplan Seminar. After grabbing our luggage from LAX’s baggage claim area, my wife, Stephanie, and I headed straight over to Sony Pictures Studios where Mike Rizzuto, Director of Post Production, offered to show us around some of the stages. Mike took us to the Scoring Stage, where the beautiful Neve console provided pleasant flashbacks of music days gone by. We were shown the ADR rooms and one of the Foley stages with gadgets galore. Then, we made our way over to the dub stages—the huge dub stages. You West Coast folks seem to have no lack of space to allocate to dub stages! While walking around, we popped in to find re-recording mixers Greg Orloff, CAS and Tateum Kohut hovering behind their Harrison console, doing DVD version mix adjustments for their latest feature. The
last stage we saw was the Kim Novak Theatre—the room where the seminar was to be held the following day. Mr. Rizzuto noticed some technical areas he wanted to further address, so Stephanie and I thanked him for showing us around the gorgeous facilities and then enjoyed a walk down Main Street as we headed to the car. I arrived on Saturday to find some of the guest speakers in the lobby showing off their products. Mike Kovacevich from Panavision was chatting with some folks about one of their camera systems, while guests sporting 3D glasses were watching a monitor as Tommy Mack (representing Panasonic) showed off his camera’s real-time 3D monitoring. Over on the other side was LightIRON Digital’s Michael Cioni demonstrating his company’s extremely innovative approach to playback and distribution of dailies. Moderator John Coffey got the seminar rolling shortly after 10 o’clock. CAS President Ed Moskowitz offered
Moderator John Coffey addresses the crowd
by Mat t Fogl i a, CAS
Photos by David Bondelevitch
opening remarks and thanks and then John discussed the layout of the presentation. First, the panel members would introduce themselves and provide a little background. Those from the manufacturing side would also be able to show some of the workflow approaches for their products. First up was Mike Kovacevich (Panavision.com), who showed a PowerPoint of general workflow approaches. Stephan Ukas-Bradley from Arri Alexa (ArriDigital.com), who apologized for being unable to bring one of his cameras due to a last-minute client need, showed a presentation indicating some of the technical specifications of the Alexa and discussed potential workflow approaches when using the Alexa. Stephan did note that while the Alexa does not have audio capabilities currently, the next version will be coming out very shortly and will have analog audio inputs. Tommy Mack from EVS (EVSonline. com) gave an energetic talk about the new Panasonic 3D camera. Being a director himself, Tommy discussed some of
the issues encountered when shooting 3D and noted how the Panasonic, being “two cameras in one housing,” alleviates a number of shooting problems. He also discussed the usual allocation for reference audio on 3D shoots—which tends to be recorded on the left camera’s card (the camera shooting for the left eye). The technology that generated most of the first seminar’s Q&A discussion was presented by LightIRON CEO Michael Cioni (LightIronDigital.com). While the company has a number of solution systems products, his company’s OUTPOST software/hardware solutions system, basically, allows for full resolution sound and picture files to be married on set. Those combined files can then be sent to one or multiple devices—such as an iPad—for review of that day’s takes. Different levels of rendering and output options are available (among other things). Questions regarding which union (sound or picture) would be able to operate the equipCAS QUARTERLY
Guests checking out Panasonic’s new 3D camera
ment on set (since it is a mix of both elements) and how is there time to perform these tasks on set, were some starting points of a very spirited discussion between Michael and some attendants. This technology is an extremely interesting and forward-thinking approach, of which I have provided just a brief summation here. Coffey Sound’s Gary Vahling (CoffeySound.com) provided a content break by giving an update on the UHF spectrum and issues surrounding RF transmission. Then, segueing from manufacturers, production mixer Robert Kennedy noted some of the onset challenges many mixers face. Not the least of which is when the Lockit box becomes unplugged on the camera end while Sound is addressing other issues (such as wiring up talent)—and isn’t informed that it was unplugged. Not the best approach for maintaining time code sync. Next up was Josh Rizzo from Wexler Video (Wexter.tv). John triggered an interesting thought regarding how “metadata” was distributed in the analog days versus metadata distribution today. The importance of metadata was emphasized—especially in situations such as reality programming where there can be a dozen cameras recording two dozen people for 8–10 hours each day—requiring very precise data logs. There was a brief Q&A (with even more questions for Michael Cioni) followed by a lunch break. Part two of the seminar was meant to focus more deeply on the production and post-production processes and actual approaches. AVID’s Scott Wood distributed a white paper highlighting considerations and flags when working on a project from any point. The construction of this white paper received support from AVID, Coffey Sound, Wexler Video, and the CAS along with lots of “man-hours” from Scott Wood, Robert Kennedy and Jim Machowski. The premise was to walk a project through from pre-production to production to post and see what approaches are available at each 26
stage, what solutions are effective and where problems arise. The white paper contains what is referred to as the “12 Major Workflow Steps.” These steps represent an overview of a successful production audio file-based workflow strategy. Scott and Robert gave some general suggestions regarding production as they flipped through the paper. Topics such as the importance of using metadata to streamline the post process—having common naming conventions between picture and sound, including scene and take numbers. The importance of confidence monitoring (budget allowing). Then, using the Kim Novak Theatre’s enormous screen, Scott and Robert showed how an assistant (picture) editor would import the mix track into the Media Composer sequence. They asked a thought-provoking question: “Who is responsible for sync?” Interestingly, a number of the audience members gave the “correct” answer—which is the assistant (picture) editor, since they tend to be the person marrying the reference mix to the picture. Sometimes time code works and sometimes it’s off—but it’s their eyes (and ears) that (usually) set up the files for the picture editor. Scott and Robert showed how, using Media Composer’s “AutoSync” feature, the picture and sound are ganged together. Usually, it was determined most picture editors prefer to use only one audio track. In post, we (often) wish to have isolated tracks available. The guys showed the common method of exporting an AAF file and copying the audio files folder to distribute to post sound. In Pro Tools, if the file format, bit depth and sampling rate of the Media Composer sequence have not been modified from the original file format, Pro Tools’ Workspace Browser can, in a snap, have the isolated tracks align (conform) to the reference mix track from the AVID. In Pro Tools (although this was also demonstrated in Media Composer), we were able to see how “off” the sound was across each of eight tracks by looking at the clap. Seeing some disparity between the tracks prompted some audience members to ask whether tri-level sync was
engaged. Robert stated that it was not, which prompted a back-and-forth discussion between the importance of trilevel sync and when it is and isn’t absolutely necessary. The discussion was important, but became a bit exhaustive and, as is the case with any all-encompassing seminar, when one topic is focused upon for too long, time is taken away from other areas. Unfortunately, the closing bell on our available time slot was about to ring and Scott and Robert had to wrap their demonstration—without getting into some of the specific issues found when working with various cameras/ production processes. While one of the most important points mentioned in the White Paper is the elusive “Smart Planning,” most professionals know that this can often be a difficult task to achieve. So, what is the outcome? Well, the outcome is this White Paper, which will be posted on the CAS website (www. CinemaAudioSociety.org). This paper will be in the form of a WIKI—which allows—AND REQUIRES—participation from ALL OF US! This paper was kindly put together by a handful of people but needs all of us to make it a TRUE and ACCURATE professional reference. If you are a production mixer and are having issues when working with a specific camera and not another, indicate what you do to get things to work properly so that others can be informed—and manufacturers can address the issue. If you are receiving files and you are always having sync problems when they are prepared a
certain way—post on the Wiki what you do to make the files workable—or what you tell the editor to do so that things are accurate. Our combined experience and knowledge, through this paper, will allow for a smooth process from production through postproduction. Otherwise, to quote Tommy Mack, “The best way to make sure that sound and picture stay in sync from the beginning to the end—is to go back to silent movies.” We would like to thank AVID’s Scott Wood all of our sponsors and participants including, but not limited to, Richard Branca and Mike Rizzuto of Sony Pictures Studios for donating their gorgeous Kim Novak Theatre and their fine technical support team. Thank you AVID, Coffey Sound, Wexler Video and all of our panelists. Additional thanks goes out to Nate Oishi, Phil Alley, Edison Yu, Brooks Fallon, Walter Gorey, Lee Hinton, Mike McLaren, Larry Grey, Jessica Dalley, Brandon Diaz, James Pape, Dorthea Sargent, Patti Fluhr, and all of the CAS Board of Directors. Video of the seminar will be posted to the CAS website shortly. We encourage you to check it out. •
P h o t o s b y Br on onan an n da d M Moy oy i
When I was first told that the main house, built in 1730, where we would be shooting The Possession in, was only five minutes from our hotel in Hagerstown, I thought, “How scary can that be?” Also, “How bad will the sound be near the public streets of the third largest city in Maryland?” Ed (Eduardo Sánchez, the director) and I had a very specific talk about the house being just as much of a character in the script as the other characters. (I named the house “Ted,” while others called it the “Molly” house, after our lead actress, who lives there and gets possessed). And we talked about the idea that there would be virtually NO music soundtrack for this movie. Ted, the house, meanwhile, was to be isolated from everywhere else. Thank goodness Ted turns out to be five minutes of highway driving and then another five minutes drive up a road, which for the last mile is dirt and completely void of other houses or people. In fact, it’s a narrow dirt road with one-way traffic only. I drove up on my day off before we were to start the last three weeks as our final location. The road is creepy, creepy, creepy. Old, overhanging trees with stringy vines that climb to reach the low branches. A gutted right-hand turn as we first see a clearing, then the road hooks left and there is the house: quaint from afar with some old-growth trees and a winding cement walkway to the front door. As you get closer, you see the two-story structure of stone and wood with a strange newish grey roof, which slopes down into deteriorated woodwork into whitewashed stonework of the 18th century. Opening the front door I am hit with a blast of cold air some 20 degrees colder than the mild outside temperature. The living room smells dank and has odd small furniture; really small furniture (Is this “Honey, I Shrunk the Couch?”). It winds around to the kitchen and has bedrooms where you wouldn’t expect them—or is one of them a sitting room? Where parents of young daughters had their perspective “beaus” wait for them to appear and have chaperoned talks. (Lindsay Lohan? No.) Upstairs were more tiny rooms with tiny old furniture. In one corner is a jutting bookshelf which points to the dark wooden staircase leading up to the attic. I walked cautiously up those splintered stairs and gained my 20-degree heat once again in addition to a cozy humidity, which seemed to envelope me, or is that Lindsay Lohan again? For a second it felt nice and homely. The two small windows shed some light where piles of crap were stacked in the darkened half of it. Was it real stuff or the Art
James Ridgley, CAS on a night shoot
Department making it look that way? I didn’t know and there was no one around to ask. Suddenly, I made out a cat crouching by one of the windows. Wow, something else is alive in here besides me! First, I thought how cute, than I thought with weird camera angles, quick editing and eerie soundtrack music the cat flies though the air: claws forward, ears back; headed straight toward my face! That’s right! No soundtrack music in this movie! When was I going to record old scary house sounds for post? As the third week arrived, I realized that I had gotten almost everything clean during the regular production recording: creaking doors, floors, rain, footsteps, light switches, and old iron keys hitting the ground. I didn’t have a stereo microphone so I placed many mics around for the “follow the character walk throughout the scary house at night” shots. I put mics at the top and bottom of stairs, plus in the bathroom and hallways— depending on where the actor would be walking. I knew we had most of it as they already had a 50-minute rough edit and said, “all the sounds are there!” We did have our problems with some of the dialogue scenes which begs the question: Where else can the world turn from Heaven to Hell and back to Heaven in mere seconds but on a film set? Shooting nights in Maryland in late October, it was freezing, 35 degrees but tonight, Heaven as we are shootCAS QUARTERLY
A full lesson on wiring lavs on talent
ing interiors and with only two actors. In the warm living room, we had a 4 6/8’s page, heavily dialogued scene between two people across from each other; one in a chair, the other on the couch with about eight feet between them and possibly lots of overlapping dialogue. We haven’t had a rehearsal and there won’t be one. Remember, this is the new trend: point and shoot. The two RED cameras will be doing opposing closeups now rather than the wide two-shot originally proposed. We haven’t seen any kind of blocking or rehearsal, and we start with individual close-ups. She has an extra-tight skimpy outfit on and a wireless isn’t a good option. Did I mention this is a twoman sound team? The 1st AD is calling last touches. My boom op and I look at each other: we are in Hell. Quickly, we find someone to do second boom, put up two Sennheiser MKH 50s and we had our scene with no worries whatsoever. Heaven to Hell to Heaven in about 90 seconds. Another Heaven to Hell situation was a night exterior we did with a rain gag. Another sub35-degree night with actors in the rain—hellish conditions for them and Robert “Red” Corbett, my boom op, who has to boom James in trunk of car the scene. Heaven for me as I stay in the warm house with a 150-ft feed to Robert and no actual dialogue to stress over. It’s tough mentally when certain conditions like rain or FX fans, for example, prevent me from doing the best job I can. It’s a time when one has to accept that a scratch track will have to do. Bad locations are another killer—you do what you can but eventually say to yourself that it’s beyond your control and they picked the location, not you. It reminds me of a different feature where we had a scene between two people in a quaint hotel courtyard. The location LOOKED great but it was right in the middle of the busiest area of downtown Los Angeles and on each side of two really busy streets there were huge driveway openings which let all the Friday midafternoon traffic noise in to do its worse. (It was a union show, but they didn’t want to pay me for location scouting.) Even lavs at their throats didn’t do much to expand the noise floor unless they yelled out their dialogue at the top of their lungs: 30
MAN: WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME UP FOR A DRINK?!!! WOMAN (demure): WELL, SORTA; NOT SURE; SHOULD I?!! MAN: YES. I WILL BE A COMPLETE GENTLEMAN!!! WOMAN: HMMM, YOU SURE?!! MAN: YES!!! I’M VERY GENTLE!! Anyway, it drove me to invent the “Etooth” mic, an extremely small mic and transmitter that fits just behind the upper front teeth. Look for it at this year’s NAB. The nose hair mic will be available next year for $17,295 in 13 different shades. The last night of production was quite wrenching as we shot two highly emotional scenes between the two sisters, and quite exhilarating as it was the end of the job for most of the people on set. I’m sure most sound mixers have been in this situation at least once: the last take of the day, or in this case, the last take of the entire shoot, and the second the director yells, “Cut,” the entire cast and crew cheer. That is until the sound mixer says, “Sound needs another one.” What a downer. But it’s a very nice crew and after I yell out for another take, I feel a hand on my shoulder. Lindsay Lohan again?? No, it’s the director saying, “OK, let’s do another one.” That take was great for the sound boys and so the cheers rang out again. Why that take wasn’t good enough and why I needed another one was that the mic position was not right for one of the actor’s last lines, although it was in a great position to get the exhale of the other actor in the scene. Now, Robert had been doing a pretty good job of booming but was just a bit late in positioning for the very first word of that last line so I asked for another take. I was fortunate early in my career to have worked with a guy named Adam Blantz and he taught me that every single syllable counts and almost every single syllable has the possibility of needing a new mic placement. Blantz was always moving that
boom to find the best mic placement for every single sound, even with a blimped 816 on a fully extended pole in 20 mph winds. That’s what I think of every time I’m mixing: an 816 on a fully extended pole in 20 mph winds. NO! Sorry—when I’m mixing, I’m always thinking, “Has any single sound of dialogue been off-color or offaxis?” If I can say yes, then I should ask for another take. My boom op was happy to get another take, as well as James hiding from a 2nd AD a few others on set who don’t like to see a good show end, myself included. Most of us went to downtown Hagerstown and packed into an
incredible Indian restaurant for a wrap dinner and with many hugs said good-bye. The director and producers would continue their work, but for me, it was a short night to get packed for my early flight back to Los Angeles. My boom op offered to come back and help with the postproduction sound so of course, I offered them my post-production facility in the Fiji Islands with all expenses paid, plus my personal chef and personal jet at their disposal 24/7. BTW: When does your next feature start? •
Versatility anyone ?
It’s a nice thing to have when your next production could be anywhere.
We Have Them
Virtually Surrou by Kar ol Ur ba n, CAS
I have always balked at the idea of virtual surround sound in favor of the real thing. However, advertisements are everywhere promising pseudo surround sound experiences from headphones, two-speaker systems, soundbars, and most recently, smartphones. While consumer sales of these technologies speak volumes about how and where audiences are viewing content, I find the assertion that I could have an engulfing surround sound experience from these devices audacious and abstruse. How good have we become at tricking the mind when it comes to sound localization? And how (very generally speaking) are we doing it? 32
While every company from Dolby to Bose appears to have a proprietary technology on how to trick the brain, they each use principles of psychoacoustics to achieve this goal. They seek to reproduce the aural cues that enable our ability to perceive the location of a sound. These cues are generally based on the physics of a sound arriving at the eardrum and the geometry of the human body itself. When we encounter a soundwave, we calculate the difference in volume and time of that wave hitting the left and right ears. These values are defined as the interaural level difference (ILD) or interaural intensity difference (IID) and the interaural time difference (ITD) or interaural phase difference (IPD). The intensity difference theory is the oldest theory on directional hearing originating more than 100 years ago. The general idea is louder sounds typically are closer. However, subjects fed signals without any delay between the ears and with varying level differences report that the sound feels as if it is originating from inside the head but on slightly one side versus another. It is only when a delay is introduced between the two ears that the sound is perceived as occurring outside the body and at an angle. Consequently, this unnatural sensation of sound originating from inside the head is often responsible for listener fatigue. While ILD is often a result of a shadowing effect created by the skull itself, ITD is based on the speed in which sound travels. At 340 meters per second, it only takes 700-millionths of a second to travel across the largest of noggins. Amazingly, the human auditory systems can, under optimal conditions, determine ITD values as small as 10-millionths of a second. The information we receive from time and level differences are vital. This is one of the reasons why surround
Opposite page: Soundbar system Above: YSP4000 no grille
headphones are generally much more effective at simulating surround. The physical design of headphones prevents bleed from one ear to the other making time differential information from one ear to the other much more distinctive to the listener. This is also why crosstalk cancellation is integral in soundbar and two-speaker surround systems. Crosstalk cancellation is the implementation of destructive interference that aims to neutralize the sounds arriving at one ear before it reaches the other, providing clear localization cues from a minimum two-speaker setup. While crosstalk technology can be extremely effective, it does require the listener to be in a very narrow sweet spot equidistant to each speaker. For this reason, virtual surround is often recommended as a great solution to computer workstations, as it is a single-user listening environment, or for very small spaces. But ITD and ILD can still only give us enough information to calculate the azimuth of a sound. This is because some locations will produce the same time delay and volume information but may originate from a different path all together. This anomaly is called the Cone of Confusion and does not refer to the feeling we all sometimes get when trying to conceptualize
psychoacoustics. The Cone of Confusion represents a widening cone-shaped space emanating from the ear opening in which sounds parallel to each other from the axis will produce the same distance and time information but could actually be above or below you, or to the front or behind you. The fog of this confusion is thought to be cleared by the structure of the human body itself. The shape of the head, the spacing between the ears, and the structure of the pinna create a spectral transformation of incoming sounds that depends on their direction of origin. These modifications to the shape of the incoming wave are affected by the angle of the originating sound. These are called head-related transfer functions (HRTF). Basically, the theory is that sound enters your ears after reflecting off the curves of your ear lobes and torso adding unique comb filtering to the direct signal before your brain begins to process it. As each personâ€™s individual ears, head, neck and shoulders are different, this does mean the HRTF of each individual are unique. Presumably, at a very early age, we learn the characteristics of our unique HRTF and can locate sounds quite accurately as a result. Virtual surround sound technologies have begun using CAS QUARTERLY
the study of HRTF to develop algorithms to simulate the filtering that the typical personâ€™s body would affect on incoming sound waves. This is achieved by recording measurement signals played through loudspeakers using microphones placed in the ear canal of human subjects, or mannequin heads. From these recordings, they analyze Captive video player SRS and derive HRTF for each ear based on the difference between the recorded signal and original signal. This is repeated over and over until a database of information for a particular head is gathered for a variety of spaces and frequencies. When sounds using the derived digital filters are reproduced at the ears of the listener via headphones, this method is very accurate at simulating location information. This process is defined as binaural synthesis. Many virtual surround technologies use a set of HRTF measured from a particular head or mannequin to attempt to give clear sound localization cues. While this provides a complete and consistent library of information, this causes
an issue when a head, torso or pinna are significantly different in shape or size than that of the model. This manifests itself in two vary common errors found in 3D audio: front and back space confusion and elevation errors. From a mixerâ€™s perspective, this means that something panned from the side to overhead may be perceived as going from side to front, or something panned from front to side to rear may be perceived as going from front to side to front. Again, headphones do a better job of avoiding these errors than two-speaker systems and soundbars, but these errors due to filters derived from non-individualized HRTF are a major hurdle that virtual surround is still battling. Finally, many virtual surround systems require calibration of the listening space for more than just the traditional playback reasons. Many also calculate the space in order to approximate where sound can be beamed to create reflections. These reflections bounced off the walls of a space are used to create the sensation of sound originating behind and beside the listener.
Soundbars specifically house various speaker cones from behind their elegant minimalist grills in an attempt to maximize the spatiality of the sound by reproducing it a various slightly different angles. For example, The Sound Projector by Cambridge Mechatronics, which appears as a simple black bar, houses 40 micro drivers, HTC Surround two woofers, and complex projection technology. It claims it can offer playback of a 9.1 audio track including height channels. While most reviewers of reflection-based technologies are impressed with its ability to throw sound around a room that is appropriately calibrated and shaped, when compared to a true discreet 5.1 system, a discernable difference is noticed. It is also important to note that technology utilizing reflection makes object occlusion, absorptive objects, and general room and furniture layout symmetry very significant. Buyers of virtual surround that are choosing this technology to reduce cables and speakers should be aware they are still affecting their room layout and get-
ting a less immersive experience. In addition, virtual surround reviews across the board recommend supplementing the low-end response by adding an additional subwoofer. Finally, Dolby takes an interesting perspective in their Guide to Dolby Virtual Surround Sound Technology. “There is nothing contradictory about the idea; after all, we only have two ears in which we capture all sound information irrespective of the number of different sound sources.” While virtual surround consumers cannot yet expect to receive the same quality of sound they get from a true 5.1 system, technology is trying to get us closer all the time. In fact, SRS just announced its WideSurround technology, offering an even more immersive experience carrying spatial information and increased bass and high-end reproduction for stereo-enabled smartphones. We have a long way to go, but perhaps a day in which it is completely possible to reproduce a full and complete surround environment from a pair of speakers or bar may be in our future. •
Congratulates All the Nominees & Honorees of the 47th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards
™ and © 2011, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Prote by Wi l l Hansen, CAS
With all this rain we have been having the last few months, I thought it would be a good time to review a product made specifically for protecting your gear from the rain. It is called “the AudioSlicker” by M.T.O. Unlimited, based out of Santa Monica, Calif. 36
This slicker is designed for bagbased, over-theshoulder, run-andgun-type sound rigs. The way it works is as follows. You put your gear in the bag and attach it to the inner rings—there are two types to choose from—with a carabiner of your choice. Then you zip it back up with the water-resistant sealed zipper. Then attach the bag to your shoulder harness on one of the two types of rings. And voilà, you’re good to go! It’s that simple.
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We are on our seventh season of Grey’s Anatomy and still going strong. Derrick Cloud booms and Kelly Hallmark is the utility. This year, we shot an episode reality style, an episode with mucho music. My big, big thanks to all of the “Double-up” crews, who show up, off load, work, work, work, and put it all back in their truck. I can’t remember everyone, but here are a few in random order: Steven Morantz CAS, Steven Hawk CAS, Steve Weiz (a lot of Steves!), Mike Krikorian CAS (freezing in Big Bear), Clark King CAS and Eric Pierce CAS. If I forgot to mention you, it’s my brain’s fault. Again, thanks, and Happy New Year! –Beau Baker CAS
Stephen A. Tibbo CAS has been busy mixing Season 2 of Modern Family with boom men Preston Conner and Dan Lipe.
Philip Perkins CAS is mixing Kim Shelton’s The Welcome (PBS) and continued work on Nancy Kelly’s Moments in Time (also PBS). He recorded the final concert shoots for David L. Brown’s music films Keeper of the Beat and 3rd Rocks, the culmination of more than three years of liveconcert recordings for these projects. I have hung up the headphones and am looking forward to retirement where I can sleep eight hours every night, especially Fridays. I am removing the word ‘Fraterday’ from my vocabulary. It was a great 40 years, and I hope to keep in touch with the many wonderful people I have met over the years. –Rob Young CAS Re-recording mixers Tim LeBlanc and Christopher Barnett CAS wrapped up the final mix for Texas Killing Fields at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. Directed by Ami Mann and produced by
Michael Mann, the film will release in mid-2011.
John Rodda CAS writes: I’ve been in Budapest and Belgrade for the last three months working on The Raven. The film was directed by James McTeigue and stars John Cusack, Luke Evans and Brendan Gleeson. The story is a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life, in which the poet is in pursuit of a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories. After spending all of last summer on the 12 episodes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Spike Lee’s If God Is Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, I went to work with Giles Martin on Marty Scorsese’s three-plus-hour documentary Living in the Material World: George Harrison, which is still a work in progress and will be finished up in February 2011.
I’ve also just completed Ron Howard’s The Dilemma, with Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Winona Ryder, and after the new year, I will be beginning work on David Frankel’s comedy The Big Year, with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black. All of this work was and will be done at Soundtrack Film & Television in Chelsea, New York City. Best, Tom Fleischman CAS
nies. When they saw me walking down the street, they really put on a great show—and if I paid too much attention to one side of the street, the fans on the other side called me over to record their cheering too. It was an unbelievable opportunity to get some once-in-a-lifetime crowd reactions for Sound Ideas’ new General HD Collection. And the moral of the story is, of course, never go anywhere without your recording gear!
Brian Nimens (CAS Associate) reports: I was in San Francisco for the AES when the city announced the date and time for the big San Francisco Giants’ World Series celebration. I took to the streets with my recording gear and much to my surprise, the security crews on duty actually let me wander right out ONTO the streets to record the celebrating fans. The city was a sea of orange and black, with fans hanging from window ledges and balco-
Gary D. Rogers CAS and Dan Hiland CAS wrapped up their six-episode series of The Walking Dead, with director Frank Darabont and producer Gale Anne Hurd on their premiere opening Halloween night for the AMC network. Currently, they are still mixing the Chase series for NBC, the 10th and final season of Smallville for the CW, and Pretty Little Liars.
After helping out Mark Ulano CAS on second unit of Super 8/Wickham, it was off to the Grand Sabanna of Venezuela for Jonathan Andrews CAS. Here we shot the next installment of Out of the Wild.
Andy Wiskes CAS has finished postproduction mixing Virtues of Corned Beef Hash and Warnings, as well as mixing commercials for Chrysler, Toyota, Microsoft and Honda. He also had the opportunity to work with Danny Glover on The Responsibility Project.
Eric Batut CAS is mixing Season 3 of Fringe. Danny Duperreault is the boom operator and Millar Montgomery is the sound assistant. After taking the first four months off to tend to my wife’s every need (foot surgery), it was time to get back to work. My
18-year boom op Anthony Cargioli and I went up to Ann Arbor, Mich., to work with Bucket List director Wes Craven on the fourth installment of the Scream series. We were joined by the wonderful Gail Carrol-Coe, boom/utility, and had a fantastic experience in spite of the vampire factor (11 of the 14 weeks were dead nights). Not wanting to stay up north for the impending drop in temperatures, Anthony and I traveled down to Baton Rouge, La., to work on The Haunting in Georgia. It turned out to be what we had hoped, a great reunion with some dear old friends including actors Chad Michael Murray and Barbara Alyn Woods, both of One Tree Hill, where we spent nearly four years and 70 episodes together. Barbara and her husband, 1st AD John Lind’s daughter, Emily Alyn Lind, is the brilliant young actress starring in the show along with Chad and Abigail Spencer. We here
at Bimini Production Sound, wish all our friends, brothers and sisters, a great holiday season and healthy and prosperous new year! –Jeffree Bloomer CAS I am currently in pre production for The Hobbit here in New Zealand having a lot of fun testing and getting to know Zaxnet. It promises to be a real challenge with many speaking parts and new and untested 3D camera rigs. I have Corrin Ellingford on boom and Steve Harris as our 3rd. Hopefully, this will keep us out of mischief for the next 18 months. All the best for 2011. –Tony Johnson CAS
Dallas Taylor CAS recently finished the sound design/mix for the Fallout: New Vegas Dead Money game launch trailers. Also, over the past few months, he has worked on major advertising
campaigns for Discovery HD Theater, Science, Military, Razoo, The Obama Administration, Regus, Mary Kay & Allstate. On the long-form front, he just completed Season 7 (26x30) of How It’s Made for the Science Channel, Season 2 (13x30) of Sengoku basara for Funimation, Season 1 (13x30) of The Sacred Blacksmith for Funimation, Underground Wars (1x60) for the Science Channel & Beyond the Chair (1x120 documentary feature). From Universal Studios Sound: At Studio 1, Elmo Ponsdomenech and Bob Edmondson CAS are mixing two NBC shows, The Event, airing on Monday nights and Friends With Benefits for Imagine Entertainment. At Mix 11, mixer John Chalfant is currently mixing the animated feature The Lion of Judah for AMG Films. At Studio 5, Nello Torri
CAS and Alan Decker CAS are mixing Good Luck Charlie, Mad Love and the USA series Psych. Nello and Alan will also mix the pilot Outnumbered for director Larry Charles. John W. Cook II CAS and Peter Nusbaum CAS are working on their regular shows: The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Cougar Town. John and Peter are also working on NBC’s latest comedy hit Outsourced and will soon begin work on two new shows: Perfect Couples and Happy Endings. Mixers Pete Reale and Todd Morrissey are keeping busy with Dick Wolfe’s new show Law & Order: Los Angeles, along with mixing the 12th season of Special Victim’s Unit for NBC. Congratulations go out to mixer Joe DeAngelis, supervising sound editor Brad North, dialogue editor Jackie Oster and effects editor Luis Galdames for winning the Outstanding Sound for Television HPA Award. Feature team Chris Jenkins CAS and Frank A. Montano just wrapped pre-dubs and are about to start the final mix on Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. At Smart Post Stages in Burbank, Sherry Klein CAS and Brian Harman CAS have just wrapped Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy for FX, and will be mixing Chaos, a new series for CBS airing in February. Sherry and Brian have just completed a pilot for FX, Outlaw Country, which mixed at West Digital Post. Also at Smart Post Stages, Dean Oakrand and Brian Harman CAS are mixing Season 2 of Make It or Break It for ABC Family and Switched at Birth, a pilot for ABC Family. At Larson Studios in Hollywood, Sherry Klein and David Raines just wrapped Season 4 of Burn Notice on USA.
Pud Cusack CAS writes: We are just today wrapping The Lucky One. It’s a Warner Bros. show starring Zac Efron, shot in New Orleans, directed by Scott Hicks. From Richard Branca CAS at Sony Pictures Post Production Facilities: Michael Semanick CAS, David Giammarco and Rick Kline have just completed How Do You Know at the Cary Grant Theatre. Currently working on Rango at the Cary Grant are Paul Massey CAS and Chris Boyes. Andy Koyama and Chris Carpenter are now finaling Soul Surfer. Jeff Haboush CAS, Greg Russell CAS, and Dennis Sands CAS are finishing Columbia Pictures Green Hornet at the Kim Novak Theatre. Tateum Kohut CAS and Greg Orloff CAS are now finaling Just Go With It at the Burt Lancaster Theatre. Bill Benton and Gregg Landaker finished Bad Teacher at the Anthony Quinn Theatre. Rusty Smith and Bill Freesh CAS continue to mix 90210 on Dub Stage 6. On Dub Stage 7, Deb Adair CAS and Steve Ticknor CAS are dubbing Lincoln Lawyer. Mark Linden CAS and Tara Paul CAS continue to work on Fox’s The Simpsons on Dub Stage 11. Fred Tator CAS and Derek Marcil CAS are dubbing Lie to Me on Dub Stage 12. Wayne Heitman and John Boyd are working on CBS’ Medium on Dub Stage 17.
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Christmas came early this year for Scott D. Smith CAS and boom operator Jason Johnston, with the filming of A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas in Detroit, over the summer and fall. Reprising their previous roles as a duo of bumbling stoners, Kal Penn and John Cho toke their way through this 3D production with predictable results (not to give away the plot, but Santa does not experience an exactly festive holiday in this movie!). Neil Patrick Harris adds to the hilarity as the lead in a wacky Christmas spectacular gone haywire, with the expected mayhem ensuing. Able assistance was provided by the Detroit crew of Ron Ayers (utility) and Burr Huntington (playback) who helped keep the Christmas spirit intact during some difficult days! Upon returning to Chicago, we got a taste of real winter weather during the production of John Well’s new TV series, Shameless, set to air on Showtime in January. Based on the UK show of the same name, this drama follows William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum as they struggle to maintain their disintegrating family in a rundown Chicago neighborhood, with a backdrop of local characters providing suitable dramatic and comic interludes. Jason Johnston once again proved his skills as boom operator, with Jim Gaudio handling utility. Between production assignments, Scott continues to pen articles on the history of motion picture sound for the 695 Quarterly.
Jeff A. Johnson CAS is currently working on CBS/Chuck Lorre’s third hit sitcom Mike & Molly (1. Two and a Half Men 2. The Big Bang Theory), with James Burrows at the director’s helm. The show is up for a People’s Choice Award and has recently won a number two spot in the Nielsen overnights for Monday-night programming and has remained steady since its debut at number four. Mike & Molly airs Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS. After starting Season 1 of ABC/ Shana Goldberg-Meehan’s Better With You, Jeff left their company to join Crane Town Media’s new TV Land hit Hot in Cleveland (Season 2) after shooting the pilot and 10 episodes which equaled Season 1 in the 42
summer of 2010. Hot in Cleveland is TV Land’s first venture into original halfhour comedy programming and debuted as the most watched telecast TV Land has ever seen. The cast for Hot in Cleveland includes Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves. Season 2 premieres January 19 at 10 p.m. In addition to training the next generation of production sound mixers at Cal State University Northridge and Columbia College Hollywood, professor Fred Ginsburg CAS has been working with K-Tek in the development and refinement of their new E-Z Boom rig. The E-Z Boom consists of a supporting vest with an overhead swing arm that suspends the weight of a long boom pole. If your team is interested in borrowing the prototype for a field trial, please contact Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Morantz CAS has just wrapped up Season 3 of Parks and Recreation. It was a very weird schedule due to our lead actresses’ pregnancy. We shot from April to mid-December with a three-month break in the middle. During the break, I was able to mix the Disney film Prom, which opens at the end of April. With me on both projects were Aaron Wallace and Mitch Cohn.
Glenn Berkovitz CAS and boom operatorstors Ken Beauchene (CAS Associate) and Danny Greenwald are still hangin’ with the Z-Boys for Disney XD’s wacky skateboarders Zeke and Luther. We’re no longer teens, but we play them on TV.
Jon Ailetcher CAS has been very busy on Season 2 of ABC’s Cougar Town. Booming is Mark Jennings and Laura Rush is handling utility duties.
A very happy new year from Robert Wald CAS and boomers Jeff Erdmann and Jeff Zimmerman. We recently completed our third season on ABC Family’s toprated show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. This year, we were surprised by two bonuses ... the network ordered two additional episodes for a total of 26, and then the entire crew was invited to shoot a new pilot which started just two days after we wrapped Teenager. So, our season was extended to within three days of Christmas ... but, who’s complaining?! Teenager is a go for next season and, since the pilot also belongs to the same producers, there is a possibility that the same crew may actually shoot both shows. We would probably shoot about 12 episodes each on a rotating, year-round schedule with a couple of decent breaks in between. Now, that could be very sweet since this production company doesn’t believe in long workdays. So, we could actually do it without killing ourselves. Anyway, we
obviously consider ourselves quite lucky and we appreciate working with best producers, cast and crew ever! We’ll see what develops. Meanwhile, best regards to all of you and wishing everyone a successful 2011!
Curtis Choy CAS went back to his preTC roots on DSLR shoot The Crumbles and restarted a 27-year-delayed family documentary in his new Oregon digs.
I completed a year-long documentary project for National Geographic involving environmental education for primary and secondary schools ... this was one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved with. And NBC Sports/ Aura 360 Productions for the SCORE Baja 1000 and a featured documentary with NASCAR & off-road racer Robby Gordon, with the U.S. Army at Ft. Irwin in the Mojave Desert. Looking forward to a prosperous new year for all of us.
Fred Schultz CAS is back production mixing and loving it, styling behind his new Yamaha 01V (last seen twisting the knobs of a Sela!). Thank you to Glenn Berkovitz CAS, David Lerner and Dave Panfili for steadfast encouragement and support, to Phillip Palmer CAS for creating the incomparable 01V Production Sound Users Group (http:// o1v96psug.proboards.com), and to all his mixer friends who’ve called with double-up days.
Jonathan Gaynor CAS finished 2010 and began 2011 with the New Line/ Warner Bros.’ Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Boom man Tim Cargioli contributed his usual 100% as did Rich Linke in muddy Hawaii, and Jenny Elsinger in frozen Wilmington, N.C. Don Hale CAS was busy with a number of commercials the past three months, which included spots for the U.S. Marine Corps, with shooting at Camp Pendleton. Dark Spark produced spots for the new Ford Focus, with location shooting in the desert north of Lancaster, and in downtown Los Angeles. Shakey’s Pizza spots were shot on location in Alhambra, Calif., for Swing Films, Home Town Buffet spots were shot in San Marcos, Calif., with boom operator Rocky Reilly, U.S. Navy Seals in Coronado, and a Super Bowl commercial which I cannot disclose—involved various days of production in Southern California locations. Along with the commercials,
From Warner Bros. Post: On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 1, Dan Hiland CAS and Gary Rogers CAS continue mixing Smallville and ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, as well as NBC’s new series Chase. Todd Grace CAS and Ed Carr CAS are currently mixing Chuck, The Mentalist, Life Unexpected and Men of a Certain Age on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 2. Mike Casper and Tennyson Sebastian are mixing the TV series One Tree Hill and V on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 3. WB Post Production Services newest crew members, Michael Olman CAS and Ken Kobett CAS, are mixing Desperate Housewives and WBTV’s The Whole Truth on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 4. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 5, Steve Pederson and Brad Sherman CAS recently finished mixing the feature film No Strings Attached, from Ivan Reitman. Their next projects include Hall Pass, from Bobby & Peter Farrelly, and LOL for Lisa Azuelos. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 6, Tim LeBlanc and Mike Babcock recently completed The Chaperone for director Stephen Herek. Tim is now working on The Fields, from Ami Canaan Mann. Babcock Kathy Oldham continues to mix Two and a Half Men on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 7. She is also mixing WBTV’s newest series Mike & Molly, $#!& My Dad Says and BET’s The Game. Charlie McDaniel continues mixing The Big Bang Theory, How I
Met Your Mother, Shake It Up, Rules of Engagement, and is now also working on Hot in Cleveland, Working Class and Better With You on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 8. Director John Reitz and Gregg Rudloff are currently working on The Rite for director Mikael Hafstrom on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 10. They recently completed the first temp mix of The Green Lantern for director Martin Campbell. J. Stanley Johnston and Greg Watkins CAS recently completed the remix for Ron Maxwell’s updated Director’s Cut of Gods and Generals for Ted Turner Films. Re-recording mixers Jeffrey Perkins and Eric Justen continue to mix Human Target on Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 11. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage 12, Andrew D’Addario and Ezra Dweck are currently mixing the new TV series Hawaii Five-O and will soon be working on Project X from Nima Nourizadeh. Greg Watkins recently completed working on the international mixes of the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 for director David Yates. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage A, Carlos Sanches is busy mixing animation for Audio Circus including Warner Bros. MAD series, Looney Tunes Show, Looney Tunes Theatrical Shorts, WB’s Scooby-Doo: Phantasour (DVD), and Disney’s Jake’s Neverland Pirates. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage B, Mathew Iadarola is working on the international mixes of Eric Brevig’s Yogi Bear , and will also work on the International mixes of Something Borrowed. On Warner Bros. Re-recording Stage C, mixers Brad Sherman and Rick Norman recently completed DreamWorks Animation projects Shrek Forever DVD Special and Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special . They will soon begin work on the international mixes of No Strings Attached for Ivan Reitman. Mathew Iadarola and Alex Gruzdev have completed mixing Honey 2 for director Bille Woodruff.
Rick Norman and Alex Gruzdev continue to mix Fringe on Warner Bros. Post Production’s Remote Re-recording System based in Santa Monica. Matt Vowles CAS recently commenced work on the second season of Southland on the Warner Bros. Post Production’s Remote Re-recording System based at L.A. Center Studios. Jason Brennan is mixing the new John Wells’ series Shameless to air on Showtime on the Warner Bros. Post Production Remote Re-recording System located on the Warner Bros. lot.
Mark Rozett CAS completed dialogue and music rerecording at Monkeyland on the latest Will Ferrell picture, Everything Must Go, with Trip Brock on sound effects, and then teamed up with Kelly Vandever CAS to do back-to-back mixes of War of the Dead and Sironia. He now moves on to Letters From the Big Man and Playback.
2011 is full steam ahead for Nicholas Allen CAS. Baby Jude, second son, is now 17 months old. He skipped toddling and went right onto dashing. Needless to say, our free time is minimal with two beautiful sons and production! Speaking of which, 2011 brings the ‘Back Nine’ for Parenthood (NBC/U) which Ronald L. Wright (boom operator) and Charles Homyak (utility) are fielding 14 main and constantly improvising characters with three cameras firing at all times. Meanwhile, Season 2 of Paul Provenza’s The Green Room (Showtime) is firing up and will have six more ‘in the can’ by the time you read this (hoping for another 10 soon after). Nick, along with Richard Geerts (boom operator), Mitch Cohn (utility) and a Front of House crew, field director Provenza and a diverse cast of top comedians whooping it up live with the audience, 22 inputs, music playback, live piano and seven cameras. “Just the way I like it! And we churn out a great
half hour of comedy!” Best in the new year to all of our dear sound brothers.
Bruce Litecky CAS adds: Wanted to let you know I’m currently mixing the second season of Treme in New Orleans. Now that the holidays are here, what a slow-up, which reminds me that I have two great kids, toddlers still, to play with. All day and all week long! This quarter, I’ve worked on a few industrials, a TV pilot—oops, more of a TV pilot “pitch” and then I got to fill in for the mixer on reshoots on Underground Comedy 2010— directed by Vince Offer (the ShamWow! Guy)—with Jason Brooks on boom. The best new year to everyone out there. –James Ridgley CAS
Edward L. Moskowitz CAS, boom op Jack Nitzsche and sound utility Leonard Moskowitz are continuing the first season of NBC’s The Cape.•
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A rare photo of three sound mixers on the same job! From left: Andy Wiskes, CAS, Scott Kinzey, and Fred Runner, CAS working on a commercial for Chrysler.
us CAS, Debbie Pinth on ic Er and James rd the set of The Ha , Times of RJ Berger Season 2.
Paul Vik Marshall, CAS and his boom operator Paul Romo are going Green. When shooting exterior locations, they are running their cart off of solar power with the CS-100 RayCatcher Charging Station made by Solar On Set, LLC. A great addition to the package.
! ld r o w e h t d n u o r a
From left: Mixer Pud Cusack, CAS, boom operator Richard Bullock, and utility Betsy Lindell on the set of The Lucky One.
Brian Nimens (CAS Associate) in San Francisco for the World Series celebration.
Cal State University Northridge students try out K-Tek’s new E-Z Boom on a video shoot during professor Fred Ginsburg’s sound class.
Rob Young, CAS
was in Ireland for pChristmas and ha by lk wa pened to the Cinema Audio Society Dublin office.
James Ridgley, CAS mixing while Jay Golden booms. Aiden Quinn (far right) in 50 mph to 60 mph winds.
Left to right: Boom operator Sam Stella, production sound mixer John Rodda, CAS and second boom Nemana Novicic in the park around the fortress in Belgrade.
CAS member Mike Puckett and his wife Jody celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in Paris recently.
Rich Linke, Tim Cargioli and Jonathan Gaynor, CAS making good clean family entertainment in muddy Oahu, Hawaii.
Congratulations to re-recording mixers Bob Beemer, CAS and Jon Taylor, CAS, winners of the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artist—Cannes Film Festival for Biutiful, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
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