Ric Forster - Writer & Filmmaker

Audio post on LOL

Good audio on a film is, famously, somewhat difficult to achieve. It’s something that on set I just can’t pay close attention to. That job falls on the ears of my sound recordist. Because of the insane challenging shooting schedule there were some angles we only had one shot at. Having one boom mic, two characters standing on the opposite side of a classroom and not enough time is never a good situation.

The result was that when bringing the film into the edit, a massive amount of time had to be spent sorting out the audio. Pictures are a piece of cake, comparatively. I had the bulk of the visuals edited within a week of the shoot, but the audio took another month.

You can always try to pull better audio from other takes, but it doesn’t always sync up. My only option was to do some ADR, which apparently stands for Automatic Dialogue Replacement. I have a massive problem with this description, as there’s nothing automatic about it. It’s a really tricky process that is a nightmare to get right. I had to bring in Nicola, Bryony, Toni, Dan, Nico, Dane and Chris to re-record lines. Yeah, that’s virtually the entire cast.

The scene with Keely and Dawber standing in the hallway at the party? Dubbed.
Keely and Helen having a massive row? Dubbed.
All the scenes with Keely and Jaz in the classroom? Dubbed.

The results vary in quality, but hopefully nothing will stick out too much. It’s something they screw up on TV all the time. Often the new audio is recorded in a voice over booth and tends to sound artificially clear. Having access to all the sets after the shoot allowed me to re-record the audio in exactly the same situation as it was originally and I think it’s worked out alright. In one scene, the Jaz/Helen phone call, we were actually able to change and improve the script, as the original was pretty awful. With a bit of luck, viewers won’t notice…

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