WORKING A-SOUND THE CLOCK (BAD PUN! COULDN’T THINK OF ANYTHING BETTER)
Meanwhile, as TCB continued with finessing the edit, the first 3 picture locked episodes were sent off to Matt and Mark, our pals over at Ears Up Sound Design, to begin the process of cleaning up audio tracks, building a world with sound effects and atmospheric design, and ultimately mixing and mastering the score into the episodes. If the names Matt and Mark ring a bell to you, it’s probably not because they’re incredibly common names, but because these buddies were our sound designers and album producers for Spies Are Forever!! Since then these guys have BLOWN UP in the sound design industry. Last year they opened an incredible state-of-the-art studio space in Los Angeles, have worked on theme parks around the world including Shanghai Disneyland and Abu Dhabi’s Warner Brothers World, as well as the Muppets Take the Hollywood Bowl! Basically, they are in high demand and we were super lucky that they wanted to board this small project and TURN UP THE VOLUME on it’s quality (Or turn down the volume. Or make sure the the volume is appropriate so you can hear the dialogue and score simultaneously but not feel like one is overpowering the other).
CHALLENGE: BUSY BODIES
The one issue you could potentially run into working with major industry professionals is that your small project will be put on the back burner if a bigger gig comes down the pipeline. For many months, Matt and Mark had been bidding on a contract to be the HEAD HONCHO sound designers on several new rides at a Warner Bros. Theme Park in Abu Dhabi. And after securing the job, they were splitting their time between here and the Middle East for the better part of the last year. This was an INSANELY awesome opportunity for them and we were in no place to outbid Warner Bros. for their time. We knew this going into the process and planned to work around it as best as we could. But over the last few months, as we’ve come to a close on the first 3 episodes, and Ears Up has been too swamped with the opening of the Abu Dhabi park to put the finishing touches on their work, we had no choice but to bring on another sound designer, Austin, to help facilitate the finalizations of those episodes before Matt and Mark returned to the States. Luckily, Austin (who came as a recommendation from Ashley Clements and Brendan Bradley from their new series Sona) was an EXCELLENT resource, insanely quick, super game, and an overall joy to work with. So it was a win-win in our books. THANK YOU AUSTIN!!!
THEY ARE MUSIC MEN! THEY ARE WHAT? THEY ARE WHAT??
One major update from the post-production process that we’re super stoked to share is that our frequent collaborators, the super cool duo that is TalkFine, Clark Baxtresser and Pierce Siebers, will be joining the team to help compose the score!! With the scale of this project and the amount of content that would need music, it became apparent that Chuck wouldn’t be be able to complete the process on his own. So after writing an incredible opening theme song and setting the mood with various motifs in episode one, we passed the baton over to Clark and Pierce to fully bring to life the scope of melodies we’ll hear in the show. Over the course of multiple projects with these dudes, we’ve developed shorthand that makes working with each other efficient and fun. We know how to communicate at this point. WE GET EACH OTHER. And needless to say, what they’ve brought to the table so far has been excellent.
CHALLENGE: WORLDS AWAY
Similar to our main roadblock with Matt and Mark, the toughest part about working through the score is the fact that Chuck, Clark, and Pierce, all live on the east coast. While none of the Tin Can Brothers could truly hold their own in a musical jam session, sometimes it’s just easier to bounce ideas and notes off each other IN the room rather than by trying to get 5 guys on a conference call.
GIVE IT A LITTLE COLOR
Though we are not QUITE in the stage where we do a full color pass of the show’s footage, I do have an interesting anecdote about it that requires some mundane technical description. SO BUCKLE UP.
The footage we shot for the show is high definition. So much so that we couldn’t upload and edit it on our computers in its MOST uncompresseed state without all the programs crashing. Thusly, we use low res versions of the footage called proxies to edit most of the show. These proxies are also missing the LUT, essentially a camera filter that the entire show was shot with to give the colors depth and complexity. Without it, the shots looks dull, flat, and overall very gray. Any actor we showed it to went “Oh shit! Do I REALLY look like a corpse?!” After months of editing, this low res display just becomes the norm! We looked at the footage like this almost every day! Then, on the night Benji came to watch footage, he tested a few shots with the camera LUT and it was WEIRD to see the difference in how much better the end product would look. But we like to joke that, out of pure comfort, we want the show to look dead and gray, because it’s what we’re used to. LOLZZ