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Making of a Champion Sound Designer Post-production Journal

on April 1, 2016


My involvement in the post production process was mainly waiting for the film to be completed.  We didn’t execute our plan well and our post production process was pushed to 2 days.  I worked with the editor to make sure cuts went with the music and that the sound and sound effects lined up with the visuals, and finalized my score and sound effects.  I had also edited most of the dialogue so I had to replace it.  During the post-production phase I further edited some dialogue and other audio, and then replaced or added that audio to the film.

Sound Design Effectiveness

My sound design, especially the musical score, was effective in conveying emotion, and I think it had artistic merit.  The montage music is what I am most proud of, because it embodies the rigor of the training that the main character had to go through.  I also liked the savior-like music that played when the mentor was introduced.  The dialogue was understandable, but it wasn’t technically advanced.  I used Audacity to clean up the dialogue and edit some of the sound effects, but I could have done more technically.

Working with The Editor

I worked with the editor to make sure that cuts and action in the montage fit in with the montage music.  I also worked with the editor to figure out how long the musical score needed to be.  I did both of these things so that the music didn’t seem out of place in any areas, and so that it lasted the duration of the scene.

How I Could Have Improved the Film

I added all the sound and replaced the dialogue in the film in under 30 minutes, and didn’t have time to preview what it actually sounded like.  Now that I can see the film, I realize that I didn’t add ambient noise to the dialogue nor did I record the dialogue clearly enough, and it was obvious.  I would argue that the scenes where I didn’t edit the sound actually sounded better.  I could have improved the film by recording clearer dialogue, and adding ambient noise to scenes that are silent besides dialogue.  I had originally planned to do this, but time constraints interrupted the process.  I am not happy with the final sound.  I think the montage music was my crowning achievement in the film, but I don’t think the dialogue was well executed.  To me, it is distracting.  I think the sound works, but doesn’t help the film as much as it should.

What I Learned

I learned that it is important to set aside several days for post production and not take it for granted.  I needed more time to work with the editor, more time to finalize the dialogue in the film, and it would have been useful to have the time to preview the final product.  I also learned that it is better to have more sound available to work with than necessary than to have too little.

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