I Can’t Hear You, Cowpoke

Posted: September 15, 2010 in it goes in your ears
Tags: , , ,

Let’s talk about sound.

A few years ago, I made my first short film. It starred my little brother and my dog, and I did all the rest of the crewing, with some occasional assistance from my sister. It was called “Good Doggy,” and it told the story of a smart little dog protecting her house from two twin intruders, played by my brother. It ended up being about fifteen minutes long and it screened at the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival.

It was a great experience. And the response at the festival was amazing. I only ever ended up submitting it to three other festivals, over money issues, but I fell in love with festivals then.

But after that movie, I learned one important thing–I can do many things, but I cannot do sound. I knew then that no matter how small the project was, someone, one expert person, had to do sound and only sound.

Fast forward to The Making of Iridium Consequence. Which indeed had one person who did nothing but sound, and another person to help him hold the boom pole. We shot dual system sound, which is where the sound is recorded separately. Everything should have been wonderful.

Talkies kill

My mistake was that I didn’t synch the clips to the sound before editing started.

If we had done that first, we could have used PluralEyes to sync the clips and edit them, and that (supposedly) would have gone smoothly. I tried to use PluralEyes after the fact, and it stacked all my clips on top of each other. That was a disappointing moment.

I don’t know if PluralEyes is really the answer to much of anything. It is designed to work in Final Cut Pro and we are using Premiere CS4, so we have to export to a final cut project for the program to work. If it were made to work with Premiere, I could see it being potentially useful.

After many attempts, I have settled on this workflow: I manually sync each clip to it’s audio, and then render the exact length of the video (since the audio isn’t the same) and name it the same thing as the original clip, only stashed in a different folder. I then open the Premiere file, and replace the old clips with the new clips, and then render just the sound this time to send to Shaun, who will hopefully match the sound up to the video. It is a time consuming and laborious process.

So once again, sound, you have proven yourself to be a mighty and un-tamable dragon. But after you eat up many hours, ney, days of my life, the final product will be clean and beautiful.


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