“To’ona’i” Audio Post

Yep, it’s been a year since the last update – running out of money will do that – and so it was only last month that I caught up with sound designer Nathan Rea who has been quietly and patiently cleaning up the audio.

REA STUDIOS – NIGHT

Credits roll on a MONITOR as NATHAN and our WRITER sit back in their seats.

NATHAN

What’d you think?

WRITER

... I have some questions.

Before I get to those questions, let me just say what a phenomenal job Mr Rea has done: it all sounded natural. That might be a bit of a queer thing to say – and you well-know what a phillistine I am about a lot of the film-making technical craft – but everything sounded perfect*.

My questions – I only had three – were to do with his use of composer Nestor Opetaia‘s score:

  • Why was there music at the beginning?
  • Why had the music been changed in this middle?
  • Why was there music at the end, before the credits?

Nathan’s answers were simple:

  • As a bookend to the music at the end.
  • No, the music had not been changed.
  • In search of a place for the end music to play over the credits, the only way to avoid crashing it in at the end was to introduce it under the final scene.

Quite a bit of discussion followed where we discussed and agreed to try:

  • Removing the opening music because, with a running time of twelve minutes, a bookend wasn’t all that essential.
  • Nathan played the pre-audio-post cut of the film and nope, he hadn’t changed the music.
  • The introduction of the music under the final scene was one of those happy, serendipitous accidents where the finished film moment became much more than the sum of its parts.

Nathan made the changes and we watched the film through again.

REA STUDIO – LATER

Credits roll on monitor as Nathan and our Writer listen intently to the soundtrack.

WRITER

What’d you think?

NATHAN

(nods)

... Yeah.

WRITER

Yeah, but what did you think?

NATHAN

It’s your movie, man.

I signed off audio post.

There’s a sequence in the film where the location audio was so riven with kicked drink cans and circling streetracers that some ADR was considered. Mr Rea cleaned it up so thoroughly that it completely slipped my mind for another five viewings. Nathan – you the bomb.

POSTSCRIPT: I’m in the latter stages of colour grading at the moment, which I’ll post about hopefully maybe soon.

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