Case Studies

Please take some time to read the following case studies which will give you insight into how other productions have benefited from the Audio Collective approach and how it can integrate into your workflow seamlessly.

 

The Slammer (BAFTA winner 2006, best Children’s Entertainment Show) (BBC)

Dubbing Mixer – Guy Rowland

The Slammer presented a number of unusual challenges, as it is 1 part sitcom, and 2 parts light entertainment show. The series was recorded multi-camera at Elstree Film Studios, with SiS providing Outside broadcast equipment. The sitcom was recorded in the morning, then over lunch the studio turned around for a full light entertainment show with audience. It was all mixed on site by myself, recorded onto VT as normal and also multitracked onto Pyramix. Backups were immediately made of all media, and I transfered the material onto a portable hard drive.

The editing took place at Ace Post Production in Scrubbs Lane, West London on Avid. After each episode was picture locked, Ace generated a quicktime video and OMF audio file, which was then FTP’d to me in my studio. I then imported the OMF and conformed the entire show from the multitrack Pyramix session (mostly used for edit repairs). Each 30 minute episode took a day and a half to tracklay and premix. I generated a DIVX video file for each episode, which was sent to production for approval. Any notes or changes were then made. Once house-style was established, this first approval stage became redundant.

Two or three shows per day were fine-mixed and reviewed with production at 2nd Sense at Elstree Film Studios. A BWAV layback mix was made and sent to Ace, who combined with the graded picture onto all delivery media.

 

The Chase (ITV Studios)

Dubbing Mixer – Ben Holland

The Chase is a 60 minute early evening game show hosted by Bradley Walsh. Recorded at The London Studios without a studio audience, all of the music, sound effects and audience response is added in post. As it is an ITV show all of the post is taken care of in-house by TLS. However due to the volume of shows (Series 5 is 120 episodes) I was brought in to relieve the strain, using my facilities.

Because of the nature of this production (often they had studios, edit and dub running simultaneously) a flexible approach was needed. TLS generated an AAF & Quicktime of each show which was either FTP’d or if I was in the studios I transferred onto a hard drive. The shows were track-layed and mixed in my studio on ProTools and delivered back to TLS as ProTools sessions on a hard drive 4 or 5 shows at a time. The shows were then layed-back to tape and reviewed at TLS, often 5 or 6 shows per day. At times the shows were put onto DVD for the producer to review at home.

Technically this process worked seamlessly and gave an established post facility that extra flexibility and capacity to handle a large demanding and time consuming project like this without affecting other commitments.

 

Don’t Stop Me Now (Sky)

Dubbing Mixer – Richard Sillitto

When post facility Soho Squared Studio’s became busy in the pre-Christmas rush they contacted me to see if I’d be able to help them out.  As they were at capacity in the studios, I provided track-laying and prepping at my studio. They sent me a HD with all the assets for an episode, I did the necessary preparation in the same template as their mixer was using, and then sent everything back on the same drive.

By doing this they were able to meet all their deadlines with their client, something that wouldn’t have been possible without this additional effort.

 

Loose Women in New York (ITV Studios)

Dubbing Mixer – Ben Holland

This is a DVD release of the Loose Women’s exploits in New York. An AAF and Quicktime of the program was FTP’d to me along with an AAF of the voice over which was recorded at TLS. The show was tracklayed and mixed in my studio and brought back to TLS to be reviewed and layed-back to tape.

This is a great example of how clean and efficient this process can be; the majority of the work performed away from expensive post facilities, only using them when strictly necessary resulting in a huge cost saving. In this case a total of 12 hours was spent on audio, of which only 3 (VO record and lay-back) cost the premium of a traditional post house.

 

JollyWobbles

Dubbing Mixer – Richard Sillitto

JollyWobbles is a self-funded slapstick comedy series written, starring and produced by Justin Fletcher a renowned CBeebies presenter. Due to the self-financing nature of his project financial control was paramount.

Whilst getting the project completed was a priority as this meant it could be sold and so the costs recovered, we were flexible as to when we actually did the work. To be most efficient and use available time and resources,  all the tracklaying was completed in my studio.
This was a substantial amount of work as each 10 minute episode was mute and all sounds were being provided in post (rather like an animation series).

Because of the convenience of location to both Justin and myself, we took the tracklayed projects into a dubbing theatre in Elstree Film Studios to complete the final mix and laybacks.

 

Diddy Movies (CBBC)

Dubbing Mixer – Guy Rowland

Diddy Movies is a new series first transmitting on CBBC in 2012. The series uses computer effects and graphics to turn Dick and Dom into puppets, living in a Diddy model world, and each episode is a premiere of their latest movie.

The series was shot as a single camera drama on a green screen stage at Shepperton studios, and I was location recordist. A mix was sent to the Red camera in unpitched and temporary pitched versions (all voices are pitched high in Diddy World, of course) and recorded multitrack on a field recorder. The footage was edited on Final Cut Pro, and picture locked offlines, OMFs and EDLs FTP’d to me, as work simultaneously began in earnest on the complex visual effects.

Pyramix was used to conform the audio with the location multitracks using the picture locked EDLs generated by Final Cut Pro. Each episode took two and a half days to conform and effect the dialogue with a very high quality pitch changer; tracklay sound effects and then premix the show. In addition, I was music supervisor for the series, composed the score to picture on over half of the episodes (the score is mixed in at premix stage). DIVX video files were sent electronically to production for approval and notes, using the ultra-quick and convenient Dropbox system (which doesn’t even require manually downloading).

There was then one ADR / music vocal recording session at Ace Post Production’s facility, with this new material added to the projects. As final effects and tweeks came in, further sound adjustments were made and the final review and mix took place, also at Ace. The master BWAVs were again laid back to the HD masters at Ace.

 

Florence and the Machine (Vice)

Dubbing Mixer – Ben Holland

This was a 10 minute documentary following Florence and the Machine at Abbey Road for an online only production company.

An AAF and Quicktime was FTP’d and I track-layed and mixed it in my studio. Most of the sync sound suffered from extreme background noise and distortion as it was recorded using the internal mic on a Canon 5D. Noise reduction tools were used to clean up the sound to an acceptable level and the mix was mastered with online viewers in mind. Care was taken to ensure that no artifacts would be generated by any of the common coding standards and the mix was delivered as a stereo bWav back to the client via FTP. The whole process from the client posting the AAF & Quicktime to having the mix available to download took less than 4 hours.

 

CBeebies Live

Dubbing Mixer – Richard Sillitto

CBeebies Live is an arena tour presented by BBC Worldwide as a live event for pre-school children to  meet the stars of the CBeebies channel. As a lot of the characters are costume characters the show involves pre-recording lots of elements.

But as these elements have to interact with live presenters and have the flexibility to take account of the changes needed in a theatrical environment quite a lot of editing of the sound track is required.

For the project, I did the voice recording in a studio based at Elstree Film Studio. This was chosen as the booth comfortably supported the 4 cast we needed to record at times and was also right next door to the rehearsal room in use for the show!
I then was able to take these recordings to my own studio and prepare them for playback in the show. Using DropBox to transport files across the internet, I could then deliver edited files to the rehearsal room.
During the initial phase of rehearsals any changes were incorporated by my taking notes from the rehearsal room, doing changes and dropbox’ing them back to the rehearsal room for approval and use.
The show also involved lots of video sequences. To complete these I attended the video edits with my portable studio set of equipment. With this I had full access to all the assets used in the show from an audio point-of-view , and was able to either provide source edits to the editor or take his output and dub the videos on the spot before passing them onto the video playback engineer.
To complete the process I then attended the technical rehearsals in Wembley Arena, where, again using my portable studio equipment, I could make the necessary changes to the show to make it work in the context of the arena environment