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Sound on BIG BUDGET films


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#1 Craig Knowles

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:29 PM

What percentage of the dialogue in any given Hollywood "blockbuster" film would you estimate is ADR/looped? I know it will vary greatly depending on the film, but in extremely rough terms, are we talking 15%? 25%? 50%?

Are most exterior scenes done ADR? Most action scenes? Everything not done on a sound stage?

Edited by Craig Knowles, 30 April 2006 - 09:30 PM.

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#2 Logan Schneider

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:54 PM

I heard that Terminator 2 was 70% ADR. And then who knows how much time they spent doing foley for Ah-nold's huge muscles.

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#3 Craig Knowles

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:03 PM

As an indie, I spend much of my time trying to capture the best quality dialogue I can. I try to achieve "Hollywood" quality sound, but when you think about it, that may be an unfair comparison. If the level of quality to which we aspire is actually studio-created ADR, there will almost always be a difference - especially in exterior locations.

Edited by Craig Knowles, 30 April 2006 - 11:05 PM.

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#4 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:21 PM

a sound designer told me that the lord of the rings movies were 95+% ADR. it's more understandable since they probably had to create so many different language versions for that kind of film, and with such extensive sound effects.
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#5 jijhh

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:36 PM

one of my teachers is a long time professional sound recordist and i think he said the average amount is something like 40% of ADR. but obviously films with a lot of action sequences or odd shooting locations have a lot more.
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 02:45 PM

a sound designer told me that the lord of the rings movies were 95+% ADR. it's more understandable since they probably had to create so many different language versions for that kind of film, and with such extensive sound effects.


---Don't forget airplanes, trucks backfiring and horses neighing at the wrong time.

The sound man at Calarts way back, who had installed the complete Magnasync/Moviola mixing consoles at Mosfilm, insisted one can only get a mike in close enough for proper sound in close ups and medium shots.
All long shots have to be post synced.

---LV
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#7 Josh Bass

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 03:26 PM

Don't they ever use lavs?

Also, I've notice wider shots sometimes have a more "echoey" sound, almost like a reflection of the distance of the camera, in an audio way. So is that ADR? Or is that actual production sound?
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:22 PM

Don't they ever use lavs?

Also, I've notice wider shots sometimes have a more "echoey" sound, almost like a reflection of the distance of the camera, in an audio way. So is that ADR? Or is that actual production sound?


---That would be production sound. The sound is echoing off the walls and hard surfaces.

---Lv
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#9 Matt Pacini

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:52 PM

a sound designer told me that the lord of the rings movies were 95+% ADR. it's more understandable since they probably had to create so many different language versions for that kind of film, and with such extensive sound effects.


Actually, foreign versions and special FX would have nothing to do with this, since those would be dubbed in post regardless or what took place on set.
The only reason to ADR, is if you can't get quality audio on the production, due to extranious noise, or the inability to get the mic in close enough, therefore sounding too distant, or mistakes made while recording, which is probably the least common problem.

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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:01 PM

---That would be production sound. The sound is echoing off the walls and hard surfaces.

---Lv



Maybe or maybe not. Production sound certainly would be echoier for wideshots but I know a sound designer/mixer that does that intentionally for wide shots, though not to the same extent.
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#11 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:40 PM

I'm a low-budget indie guy too, so I try my hardest to get good production audio (not just dialog).
I've had really good luck by having a second track for ambient/on-set foley, by using a PZM mic.
You can hide them easily; under a tablecloth, gaffer tape to the back of a chair, etc., and they're really well designed to minimize reflections (that's what they're for).
So the effect of that, is that sound doesn't sound as distant as a normal mic - audio coming from 6 feet away will sound close.
If I had the tracks, I'd use 3-6 of them, place them all over the freakin' room, to get footsteps, doorslams, everything!
You'd probably not have to do hardly any foley work this way, but obviously, it would complicate the setup, and take more time to set up.

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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:29 PM

It's not uncommon to mic actors with both a lav and a boom, regardless of the shot size. The mics are recorded on separate tracks so they can be mixed appropriately later.

Don't forget that movies spend a lot of time with audio "sweetening," aside from ADR. It's just like color correction for the image; what you capture on set is the raw material that will be polished in post.
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#13 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 09:13 PM

According to Stanley Kubrick, all of the dialogue for Clockwork Orange was the live, on-set production dialogue, with no ADR. So, it IS possible...
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#14 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 10:21 PM

Actually, foreign versions and special FX would have nothing to do with this, since those would be dubbed in post regardless or what took place on set.
The only reason to ADR, is if you can't get quality audio on the production, due to extranious noise, or the inability to get the mic in close enough, therefore sounding too distant, or mistakes made while recording, which is probably the least common problem.

MP


i'm not an audio person, but from my understanding, for a film with such an extensive sound mix, it's much easier to just design the music&effects tracks with the assumption that all the dialogue of all the languages will be pristine, so ADRing any imperfect portions of the original language dialogue will simplify the process... meaning they can just put ambient/room tone into the M&E mix. i don't really completely understand this, but this was how it was explained to me. i assume that the incredibly high technical/quality standards of a production like that may also play a role in the decision to use a lot of ADR to get pristine dialogue. any sound people on here have any insight?
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