Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jose Blog 3 - MoMI

     It's been years since I've last been in the Museum of Moving Image. When I lived in Astoria a decade ago, I went there every once in a while with my mother and sister during our summer break. It was nice to go there today with classmates and friends to experience a space that is as new as it is familiar; which also describes that elements of media production we explored in the tour as well, specifically the demo on sound.
     Watching a short clip from Titanic, we listened to it with full sound, then just with the dialogue, then with both the foley sound effects and the digital effect tracks. The full mix of all the elements, along with the picture served to give a sense of tension and excitement as all the passengers scrambled off the sinking ship to any safety they could find. Afterwards, listening to just the dialogue and the sound effects made it very clear how important the role of music plays in establishing that mood and tension.
     Interestingly, it was noted that when we were listening to the dialogue, some of it seemed a bit off-sync with the actors mouth movements. This wasn't noticeable in the final mix when all the sounds were playing, but when it was only the dialogue tracks, the effect was immediately noticable. Our tour guide explained that this was due to the necessity of capturing the actors' vocals outside the busy set in a process called dubbing, or ADR (automated dialogue replacement). After shooting the actual scene, actors are called into a recording studio to watch their scenes and voice over their lip movements in a more isolated sound environment than where the scene itself was actually recorded. Considering all the busyness of the particular scene we were watching, where actors were made to swim through wreckage or run through panicked passengers, it made sense to take this extra step to procure clean, isolated vocals for the final mix.

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