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**TTT-EE Appendices Discussion -- Soundscapes of Middle Earth, Part 4 -- Final Words.. ***


Oct 2 2010, 1:18am

Post #1 of 6 (168 views)
**TTT-EE Appendices Discussion -- Soundscapes of Middle Earth, Part 4 -- Final Words.. *** Can't Post

This is the grand finale post for this week's discussion of the TTT-EE Appendices Feature on how they created the sounds for the second film.

Kind of tough competing with Hobbit union and Hobbit greenlight stories (yay!), but here goes!

First, here's the answers to the final questions I posed in my initial post for the discussion earlier in the week:

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

The sound mix is the very last thing you do in post production -- this is when all the different elements of the soundtrack come together -- music, the sound effects, the dialogue -- and are all mixed together. First they did reel-by-reel mixes, and then they went through the complete film during the last two weeks.

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

When he wasn't there! Peter was in London, working on the film score, when they started the final sound mix. Barrie Osborne knew this was going to be a problem from the beginning, so they created a private virtual network between the sound effects department in Wellington and Peter in London. Each reel was sent to Jackson over the Internet, and he would sit in his hotel room when he was done with the music scoring to review the reels. He communicated with the sound guys over a polycom -- this let them see each other on screens at each location. As a result, they actually had more face time with Peter when he was in England than they did when he was in Wellington.

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

**drum roll...**

"Fell deeds awake! Now for wrath, now for ruin, and the red dawn!"

(This was actually the sign on the mixing suite -- just to be clear!)

Theoden's quote was "the guiding philosophy" toward the end of the final mix. There were only two weeks to go at this point, and they were still making changes -- they had mixers working day and night -- "the film was being mixed all the time."

During these last weeks, Peter was back in Wellington. He moved had the editing team moved to a room just down the corridor from the sound mixing stage:

"I know that caused a degree of concern" (Jackson)

"The sound people looked at the editing team and they wanted to kill us!" (Editor)

On the last day, they worked from 9 AM to 1 AM doing final "sound fix-ups" -- and then they had champagne -- and then they got ready to start on ROTK.

I really learned a lot from this feature -- and enjoyed hearing the comments from the different sound guys. Please join me in a round of virtual applause for this very talented team:

"I was thinking what's wrong here...we haven't had any major redos..and then five mintues later Peter said 'Those wargs, I don' t think they're quite right,' and I thought 'Oh good, this is it.." -- Ethan Van Der Ryn, Supervising Sound Editor

"We actually perform very well under pressure, which was good for us because we wouldn't have made it otherwise." -- Mike Hopkins, Supervising Sound Editor

"These guys have been shooting crossbows for a good 15 minutes..you'd think they be better by now...One thing they do do well is aim microphones well. So even if they don't hit the target, they're right on target with their recordings...always." -- Chris Ward, ADR Recordist

"I'm just back there trying different things -- eventually we got to a point where Peter's sitting there and said 'That's it -- whatever you're doing there sounds great..." -- Michael Semanick, Re-Recording Mixer

"I actually had to record myself doing dog sounds -- if you can't record it, you mouth it." -- David Farmer, Sound Designer

"Mine's longer than yours..." (during sword fight) -- Simon Hewit, Foley Artist

"I do the same thing as him, except I'm better." -- Phil Heywood, Foley Artist

"My job is to record these two guys and keep them under control..which is pretty difficult..." -- Martin Oswin, Foley Engineer

"I had to do all the combat sounds -- all the arrows...the whiz-bys..building up that kind of thing up is really satisfying." -- Brent Burge, Sound Effects Editor

"Well, it brought a tear to Wormtongue's eye -- I hope it had that effect on everybody..." -- Chris Boyes, Re-recording Mixer


Thanks to all who replied and lurked this week, and for helping to get our new TTT discussion series off to a good start!


(This post was edited by Silverlode on Oct 2 2010, 2:18am)


Oct 2 2010, 8:10pm

Post #2 of 6 (86 views)
Questions I forgot to ask! These are about The Hobbit! [In reply to] Can't Post

Since The Hobbit film is on a lot of our minds, I thought it might be fun to poses these questions as part of this final Soundscape Discussion:

1. Based on how they created the sounds for TTT and the rest of the trilogy -- what are your thoughts on how they'll do the sounds for The Hobbit films? We saw the Trolls in FOTR -- what will they sound like in The Hobbit? Will Mirkwood sound like Fangorn? Will Smaug sound like a Fell Beast?

2. What unusual devices might they use to create the Hobbit sounds -- cheese graters? cereal boxes? nail clippers? If you were on the sound crew, what techniques would you use to enhance some of the key moments in the story?

Thanks and have fun with this if you are so inclined!


(This post was edited by weaver on Oct 2 2010, 8:12pm)


Oct 3 2010, 7:27pm

Post #3 of 6 (72 views)
Thanks for the great posts Weaver! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had fun trying to remember all of this stuff, and must confess that I NEVER would have gotten the quote on the door. It is a great relief to finally know , and now i'll probably never forget!

Question #1 - As we know, Smaug talks to Bilbo and the idea of him talking sounds really cool to me. I picture him talking quite slow, and maybe on the exhale, you could use the sound of steam escaping pipes. As far as Smaug flying I hope the cheese grater makes a triumphant re- appearance!

Question #2 - I look forward to Bilbo's battles with the Mirkwood spiders, and the sound of my sister's cat hissing would be perfect for an attacking spider.


Oct 5 2010, 6:37pm

Post #4 of 6 (368 views)
I just had some twenty free minutes to rush through your discussions... [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew it was a treat I can't afford missing. Smile

Thank you so much weaver!

A fair warning: I am a nitpicker by taste, talents and profession.

"Does it matter whether the things Tom has to do are "useful" things? ... Perhaps nothing would seem much different if he wasn't there with 'my singing, my talking and my walking, and my watching of the country.' But something would be missing - something intangible, hardly noticeable maybe. A little of the spirit would have gone out of the land. "
- FarFromHome.


Oct 7 2010, 11:58pm

Post #5 of 6 (48 views)
remind me not to hang around your sister's cat... [In reply to] Can't Post

Anything that sounds like a large hissing spider is not my cup of tea!

It will be interesting to watch the Hobbit Soundscape feature -- I guess we'll have to wait until then to see if the cheese grater is reprised...

Steaming pipes, yep, I could see that for Smaug...we just went to a pipe organ concert, and those really low tones are amazing...I looked around in the audience to see if there were any sound guys taking notes, they would have loved it!



Oct 8 2010, 12:01am

Post #6 of 6 (93 views)
glad you liked them... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know you are one busy guy these days -- I feel honored that you used some of your few spare minutes checking out these posts!

I had to skip over some parts of the feature, so be sure to watch it sometime if you haven't already.

Stop back for the rest of this series-- when you can!



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