New York, NY (January 14, 2008)–The director’s cut of The 40 Year Old Virgin, edited and mixed in 5.1 by Ultra-Sound Audio Post and The Napoleon Group, debuted on the USA Network on December 21. Ultra-Sound audio engineer Jennifer Arrowood had her work cut out removing profanity from the dialog and music tracks in accordance with channel specs.
For the dialog track, Arrowood, working with producer Tracy Jamison from NBC Universal USA, used alternate VO lines that were recorded by the actors after the movie was shot and delivered to Ultra- Sound on DA-88 tapes. Arrowood created separate sound files of each line in Pro Tools for quick use during the edit session.
“The tapes that arrived were simply copies of the ADR session, without the benefit of any take sheets or recording notes. So cutting and pre-labeling the sound files into separate lines saved a lot of time during the actual edit/mix session with the producer,” said Arrowood. To help with lip-sync, Arrowood used the Waves Q2 equalizer. She said, “I ended up using 13 separate tracks with different EQ settings to accommodate all the alternate lines.”
For instances where no alternates were available, Arrowood removed the word from the dialog track. Unlike mixes/splits used for TV commercials, where the VO is a discrete track, the dialog track was actually the center channel of the 5.1 surround sound stems. “Removing words from the center channel meant removing ambience and sometimes music as well. In those instances I patched the holes with either sampled ambience from the surrounding lines, or with sampled music from the Left and Right stems.”
There were also words in the music tracks that needed to be removed. One car scene uses Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On,” which uses language that is flagged at USA, so Arrowood replaced the offending words with musical hits taken from the song.
Ultra-Sound Audio Post