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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
*TTT-EE Appendices Discussion -- "Soundscapes of Middle Earth**

weaver
Half-elven

Sep 27 2010, 3:01pm

Post #1 of 13 (334 views)
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*TTT-EE Appendices Discussion -- "Soundscapes of Middle Earth** Can't Post

Welcome to the first week of our TTT-EE Appendices Discussions!

I'm happy to lead off -- this week we'll be discussing "Soundscapes of Middle Earth".

This feature consists of several interesting and fun anecdotes about how they created the sounds for TTT -- it also accompanied by a really fascinating demonstration of a Helm's Deep battle sequence, where you can listen to each layer of sound one at a time and then see how they put them all together.

For this opening post, here are 10 questions based on what I learned from watching this feature, just to just get you thinking:

1. A lot of the TTT sounds were recorded in a cemetery -- why?

2. A lot of the sounds were recorded at night -- why?

3. Name a good use for a cheese grater other than grating cheese.

4. What should you never do if you are an inebriated cricket fan and Peter Jackson asks you to sound like an Uruk Hai?

5. What wood you do to make John Rhys-Davies sound like an Ent?

6. What's the difference between the Ring's "call" in FOTR and TTT?

7. Which sound was used to create which effect?
Sound choices: Donkey, volcano rumbling, trees being cut down
Effect choices: Treebeard's steps, Fellbeast's cry, Uruk army approaching Helm's Deep

8. Why did they remove the sounds from some of the battle scenes?

9. What's the very last thing done on a film production?

10. When did the sound team have the most access to Peter Jackson?

11. Bonus -- What sign did the sound team have on their door in the last two weeks of production?

I'll be answering all of these in my posts this week -- but if you know the answers, or want to guess at them, go right ahead -- serious and silly attempts welcome!

Thanks and welcome to the TTT-EE Appendices Discussion!

Weaver




Trevelyan
Bree


Sep 28 2010, 9:46am

Post #2 of 13 (115 views)
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Let's get this moving. [In reply to] Can't Post

Right, let's get this discussion moving along. I shall attempt to answer some of the questions to the best of my knowledge, so all from memory. Adding some humour in place of actually knowing the answer where possible....

I don't wanna try to answer all the questions though, it would leave none for anyone else Unsure

1. A lot of the TTT sounds were recorded in a cemetery -- why?
Being a musician myself and knowing a bit about recording from my experiences in a band, it may be for sound reasons, a Cemetery is a big wide open space (the one used for sound recording for TTT anyways) and also they recorded there because it's quiet and out of the way. You don't want a bunch of traffic noise in the background when recording weapon sounds and random objects. So its a quiet place to use with loads of space.

2. A lot of the sounds were recorded at night -- why?
I don't know why they recorded at night, surely all the Orcs, Goblins and the enemies prying eyes will be out at night. The must have recorded under a watchful eye....OR, I seem to remember that it's also quieter at night, so better for sound recording.

3. Name a good use for a cheese grater other than grating cheese.

You can do loads of things with a cheese grater! You can......grate.....Onion, er, grate other vegtables like carrot and stuff, and then mix that all together with some mayonaise and you've got yourself some Coleslaw! Got ourselves some good ol' homemade TORn Coleslaw. I wonder if it would be PJ Approved.

4. What should you never do if you are an inebriated cricket fan and Peter Jackson asks you to sound like an Uruk Hai?
Shout obscenities? I'm sure he gets some abuse from the crowd. Perhaps New Zealand we're losing badly in the match?

5. What wood you do to make John Rhys-Davies sound like an Ent?
Get him to talk in a slightly deeper voice than normal? Almost Brian Blessed like?

6. What's the difference between the Ring's "call" in FOTR and TTT?
Don't remember this one? Is it something to do with the pitch of its call? Doesn't it have a different sound for different people though? So Faramir's ring call is different from say Boromirís in FOTR. Also the ring is getting closer to home in the TTT, hence a change of call. I'll have to watch this chapter again to remind me.

7. Which sound was used to create which effect?
Sound choices: Donkey, volcano rumbling, trees being cut down
Effect choices: Treebeard's steps, Fellbeast's cry, Uruk army approaching Helm's Deep

Is it: Tree Breads steps - Trees being cut down, Donkey - Fellbeast's cry, and Volcano (Mount Ruapehu??) rumbling - Uruk army.

8. Why did they remove the sounds from some of the battle scenes?
To much sound I think. If you have a wall of sound, it's difficult to pick out the main sounds you want the audience to hear. They talk about this in ROTK appendices as well with the Mumakil charge.

9. What's the very last thing done on a film production?
Hassle PJ until everything is done? Though wasn't it the editing? TTT was pushed right upto the wire for time.

10. When did the sound team have the most access to Peter Jackson?
When he was recording the music with Howard Shore in Abbey Road studios wasnít it, via video/satellite link. When was this It's so funny seeing them try to cross the famous Beatles Zebra crossing and Howard Shore is crapping himself because all the cars are coming along. And PJ with no shoes on. Ahaha.

11. Bonus -- What sign did the sound team have on their door in the last two weeks of production?
Damnnnnnnn, I really can't remember. It's a quote from one of the movies, but which quote and which film I don't know. It will most likely bug me most of the day and then I'll remember in a few days.


I'll post some discussions and things next =)


www.seregon.co.uk


Trevelyan
Bree


Sep 28 2010, 9:59am

Post #3 of 13 (142 views)
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TORn Coleslaw [In reply to] Can't Post

How many different sounds did they use in the Helm's Deep sequence? The arrows use a whole bunch of sounds and noise, hits and knocks don't they? Wanted to know what each of them is.

The great thing about the sound team is that a lot of the sounds they used are common and sometimes easy to replicate. Like the cheese grater and the Donkey. With computer graphics, special effects, digital grading, motion capture etc, when remembering this chapter is cool to see them still using a bunch of objects and animals to get the best possible sound instead of turning to a computer generated sound. Not sure if this is used in film or at all though and if sounds made by a computer exist and will perhaps in time become the norm.

I don't think you can capture the essence of sound with a computer, looking at Foley's and they job they do. Seems to be nothing better than getting some guy in boots walking on a small patch of gravel with a sword, shield and armour.

www.seregon.co.uk


Hamfast
Rohan


Sep 29 2010, 12:32am

Post #4 of 13 (120 views)
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hmmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with quite a few of Trevelyans recollections, but i'll try a few from memory.

#3 - didn't they tie a rope to the grater and swing it above their heads to make Fellbeast wing flap sounds?

#4 - you have the actor talk deep and slow, but after they recorded him, they probably still put the voice through a pitch shifter. I would put the voice through some filters too...distortion perhaps?

#7 - If memory serves, they used a donkey & a distorted blood curdling scream from Fran Walsh together? By the way I would love to hear a tape of Fran's scream session by itself. I seem to remember the gent in the appendices remarking on how powerful it was. I can't help but think Peter was on the receiving end of a few of those screams because he's the one who suggests the sound guys try her.

#8 - They also remove sound for dramatic effect. The example they use in the appendices is when the berserker Uruk suicide bombs Helm' Deep. Another example is taking the music down to just a voice when there is quite a bit of activity on screen.

#11 - I don't know if this is right, but I love the pic of Peter with a yellow hard hat on wielding a chainsaw. Hilarious. I think that might have been on the editing door..??

On a side note...
I would love to have a crack at this job. I've played drums since age 12 (i'm 38) as well as quite a bit of electronic production and DJ work . It looks ( & sounds!) like fun to go to a graveyard with some friends and make weird noises. Also the problem solving aspect of using everyday items to attatch them to something spectacular like LOTR is incredibly interesting. I mean a cheese grater for Fellbeast wings??? How cool is that? They probably pull a good check too....( ahem) if The Hobbit production staff is reading I will work cheap..make the coffee runs...whatever! I am also proudly non-union!


weaver
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 3:01am

Post #5 of 13 (93 views)
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Thanks for the push! [In reply to] Can't Post

There's still some life left in this board, even though everyone is spending lots of time speculating about the new Hobbit baby. Now I know how my older kids felt when the younger ones showed up...

Answer-wise, you didn't do too bad!

1. Half credit -- open space yes but there's another reason as well
2. Correct on all counts
3. You're making me hungry! Bonus points for creativity!
4. Half credit!
5. Nope!
6.On the right track...
7. Full credit plus bonus points for knowing the name of a volcano (not sure it was the one they used, but it's still cool you know the name of one!)
8. Partial credit...
9.Yep, it was down to the wire...but editing wasn't the last thing done...
10. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
11. I won't post the answer until the final post this week -- so you have a few days to remember it!

I'll be posting the answer to the first three or four questions in my next post -- the rest will follow in later posts this week.

Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 3:08am

Post #6 of 13 (93 views)
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The Helm's Deep demo shows 7 different layers of sound... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I "think" -- need to check that for sure; I'll post more on that later in the week...

On your other point, I think the way they approached the sound fit with the whole sense of making Middle Earth "real" -- they might use computers to enhance or adapt a sound, but you're right they typically started with a real, rather than generated, basis for each sound effect.

Watching this feature -- my first time (!) -- really made me appreciate how much the sound mix adds to the impact of the films; in the Helm's Deep demo, the first track they show is the production track, done while they were filming. Hearing the actors talk in a vacuum like that makes the whole thing seem like it's a play, rather than a "real" thing I'm seeing. It's a really interesting demo, do take time to view it if you haven't yet -- or to see it again if you have!

Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 3:18am

Post #7 of 13 (103 views)
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you have a good memory! [In reply to] Can't Post

3. Yep, the fell beasts are brought to you by the power of cheese...

4. Close, but not quite!

7. Fran's scream was used for the wraiths in FOTR; there's no mention of her involvement with the TTT version of them, once they move from horses to fell beasts. The donkey was used in both cases, though, IIRC. Definitely in TTT!

8. Right on all counts!

11. Ha! Chainsaw Pete should go on the editing door if he wasn't there! No, the sound guys were a bit more "epic" in their choice...

(All answers will be posted throughout this week -- I'll do a few questions in each follow-up post...so check back!)

I agree with you, that sound guys sure look like they like their jobs. My youngest kid would probably do better at this than me -- I call him The Noise Making Boy (after a Dr. Seuss book). Good to know that might be a career asset for him some day!

I like, too, how they "collect" sounds like someone else might collect rocks -- they seem to know a "cool" sound when they hear it, and then just hang onto it; must be very satisfying when they find the perfect use for it. And then there are the times they sit around and brainstorm about how to create the kind of sound Peter wanted; what a great thing to get paid to do....

Weaver




Trevelyan
Bree


Sep 29 2010, 3:34pm

Post #8 of 13 (140 views)
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Don't quote me on that. [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn, what is the quote they use on the Sound room door?!?!? Arrrrgggghhhhh.

I'm going away for a few days tonight, and I just know it's going to bug me until I find out.

www.seregon.co.uk


Hamfast
Rohan


Sep 30 2010, 1:49am

Post #9 of 13 (87 views)
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This is really bugging me too... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't wait to see the answer! Or remember the answer ! I can't get the thought out of my head about how the sound guys would know if it was Peter calling them because he would hang up after one ring. " one ring to rule them all "

was that it?


Hamfast
Rohan


Sep 30 2010, 1:52am

Post #10 of 13 (80 views)
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Thanks Weaver. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do have a good memory, but I think I know this stuff because i've probably watched the appendices 1/2 a dozen times each.


weaver
Half-elven

Sep 30 2010, 2:49am

Post #11 of 13 (88 views)
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ha -- I never heard that bit about the one (phone) ring to rule them all... [In reply to] Can't Post

..then again, I have yet to watch all the appendices -- do they mention that in one of the other sound features? It's not in this one...

So, the sign on the door must say something else!

Weaver




Peredhil lover
Valinor


Oct 3 2010, 12:07pm

Post #12 of 13 (102 views)
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YAY! [In reply to] Can't Post

Just trying to catch up here (hopeless endeavour, really) and found this. Had been wondering if there will ever be a continuation for TTT and RotK and now I am very happy to see this *happy dance*

While the music part isn't exactly my cup of tea for obvious reasons, I really look forward to going through everything again. Such a great excuse to watch the Appendices again! Smile Thank you for continuing this!

And now I have to run and add it to my link collection straight away Wink



I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.

TORn Link Collection
TORn Travelling Journal website


weaver
Half-elven

Oct 7 2010, 11:43pm

Post #13 of 13 (84 views)
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Glad you're up for some TTT talk! [In reply to] Can't Post

The coming Hobbit baby is getting a lot of attention, but it's nice to know a few of us are to spending some time with the older triplets...looking forward to your comments!

Weaver



 
 

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