Project Reflection & Pre Production Notes

the-place-beyond-the-pines-252

Throughout the beginning of this trimester I was at a loss as to what I really wanted to work on for my project. With my CIU212 project slowly coming together via exhausted amounts of communication and rescheduling with my client, I was really looking for something I could more or less rely on myself to complete. Luckily enough, Akshay had the great idea of audio replacement for a film that had already been established and developed! This meant no rescheduled filming dates, unreliable actors or filming catastrophes – exactly what I was wanting. Teaming up with Jordan Brose and Ashley Cowen, we quickly assigned our roles on the project, allocated specific workloads and began some preproduction planning.

As the film we were working on, The Place Beyond the Pines, was already established and published, this really helped us understand and apply the appropriate aesthetics to the piece. Before beginning my tasks on the project (ADR and Foley for two bank scenes), I took some time to watch the entirety of the movie in order to better understand the story, characters, dynamics and of course, the targeted market. Upon recognizing the main actor of the drama, Ryan Gosling, I immediately associated his previous work with that of a mature audience. Sure enough, the mature language and violence became apparent and it became quite clear that the film was directed at those above the age of 15.

After researching the film’s release, I managed to find an article indicating that the use of Ryan Gosling and female counterpart, Eva Mendez, in the film was the main pull for movie-goers under the age of 35 years to buy a ticket and attend the movie in the first place. The article goes on to explain that through the four theatre early showings in New York and Los Angeles, ticket sales did exceptionally after 8pm, which suggests a younger audience at that time.

The movie, filled with action, crime, romance and family came across as male targeted, with most of the story following perspectives and stories from male characters. Females were physically present but emotionally kept distant. Establishing the market was incredibly important when it came to our audio composition for the film. With the original film using published songs for their musical accompaniment, we really wanted to create some audio to hype up the scenes we were working on. It was vital to remember that OUR viewers may not have seen the beginning of the film and thus lacked the right emotional connection to what they were watching/hearing, and it was our job to evoke the right atmosphere even by skipping a quarter ahead into the film. We decided to keep the composition very bass-heavy and as gritty as possible to compliment the car chases that followed. If this was to appeal to male audiences ages 15+, we definitely wanted the composition tense, the Foley rough and the car chase loud and fast.

The highlight of our preproduction planning was the recording of a motorbike for the chase scenes. Little did we think then that our limited resources would come into play so dramatically.

After planning a recording session with our motorcyclist, we decided we’d rent some equipment from SAE and do a few field recordings with the bike in Brisbane. No problem. Wait- yes problem… Due to the time of our scheduled recording and the sounds we were hoping to capture for our scene, we wasted our time trying to find a suitable space to record a motorbike in! How did we possibly think that we could record a bike at high speed in the city?! Next step was to use our own equipment and head down to the gold coast where our motorcyclist lived and visit an area he was comfortable riding on. This plan went relatively well, aside from the fact that our gear wasn’t quite up to scratch when it comes to following a bike around at high speed for the right sound. We simply didn’t have the ability to fly around after him, or even drive after him as the area wasn’t safe enough.

Our group went into further research on the topic and found some interesting techniques as described in the link below, however, we weren’t too keen on strapping our equipment anywhere, and aside from that, our motorcyclist became unavailable due to work commitments.

Guide to recording Cars ]

Had we had some equipment that would’ve been ok to get slightly damaged, or simply the right space at the right time we would’ve definitely had some higher quality motorbike recordings for our piece. To fix this issue, Ash spliced the samples we recorded with some samples he acquired elsewhere to fit them into our clip.

As the motorbike is such a feature to the film we worked on, it was disappointing that we couldn’t come through 100% on it, however, the remainder of our work didn’t encounter any limited resource issues as great as that one. We had a few issues with The Raven studio simply acting up during our allocated time, but this became for the best as we turned the time into a preproduction session for The Audient we had booked a few days later. In terms of equipment limitations, aside from the motorbike recording, it would be lovely to have owned everything we need for unlimited home studio recordings! This wasn’t a necessity for us however, and as we utilized our Audient time well, the rest of the project was able to be conducted simply using ProTools, Ableton and Logic Pro X at home.

One of our limited resources this trimester that we could have altered was our time. If we had begun the project earlier on we would’ve had the time to sort out our motorbike recording before our driver became unavailable. This is a limitation we placed on ourselves and simply had to deal with!

References:

Sperling, N. (2013, March 31). Ryan Gosling’s ‘Place Beyond the Pines’ dominates specialty screens. Retrieved August 20, 2015, from http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/31/entertainment/la-et-mn-ryan-gosling-pic-the-place-beyond-the-pines-dominates-specialty-bo-20130331

Isaza, Migue. “Rob Nokes Special: Guide to Recording Cars.” Designing Sound. 10 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <http://designingsound.org/2010/08/rob-nokes-special-guide-to-recording-cars/&gt;.

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