Cambridge, MA (January 15, 2016)—As part of efforts to stay on budget, sound editor/mixer Michael Gross had to get inventive while he was working on the independent short film The Chain, finding ways to maximize use of production audio and preserve the best on-set performances.
Key to that work was iZotope’s RX suite of repair and enhancement modules, which enabled Gross to clean up production dialogue to a point where very little ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) was required.
Actors often have to play multiple other characters between the time production ends and an ADR session is scheduled, so getting performances up to the level they were during production can be quite challenging. Additionally, matching the sound of ADR lines to production dialogue is often a chore.
Often times, problems with audio go unnoticed until the editor starts screening the takes in the edit room. “It’s quite upsetting when you feel that satisfaction of having nailed something on set, and everyone thinks it’s in the can—only to realize later that there was a bad noise that nobody was aware of at the time,” comments Noël Dow Barlow, director for The Chain.
“I used pretty much every noise reduction tool in RX,” says Gross. “I needed to Declip audio that was distorted, Decrackle lavalier mics rubbing against clothing, get rid of hum from mercury street lights, and there was plenty of Spectral Repair for bumps and other extraneous noises.”
Says producer and editor Daniel Bérubé. “We needed audio to convey things not being said, too, so when pickup lines were recorded in different locations, iZotope RX helped Michael match dialogue between the locations for a seamless edit.”
Filmed in New Hampshire, The Chain is based on a short story of the same name by Tobias Wolf in which revenge unleashes a series of unintended consequences.