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Old 07-16-2013, 12:39 PM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Encouraging...

If they can approach it sensitively.

And on a similar note, was I the only one who couldn't understand most of the V.O. dialog (and a good deal of everything else the lead actor mumbled) in Pacific Rim?
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:58 PM
conleec conleec is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Originally Posted by Carl Kolchak View Post
was I the only one who couldn't understand most of the V.O. dialog (and a good deal of everything else the lead actor mumbled) in Pacific Rim?
Absolutely not! I think probably 50% of the dialog in that film was completely unintelligible. I watched it at Arclight Cinemas, Sherman Oaks in the Atmos theater, and it was loud, Loud, LOUD! And the dialog was completely buried.

My ears rang well into the next day after seeing it.

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Old 07-16-2013, 03:11 PM
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dr sound dr sound is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Our job as Dialog Re-Recording Mixers is to hear every word and that includes those listening at home. Focus on your objective and balance all the elements that make up the sound pyramid. Dialog is always on top unless one is going for realism for a particular moment. Without doing that we lose the audience, first with the story plot and then them tuning out.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:49 PM
cjguitar cjguitar is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

But yes, there is a problem with mumbling actors in general…
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Do you guys in the states find english actors mumbly and hard to understand?
I wonder if it is an accent thing too. Very curious.
I find some Hollywood films i.e. True Grit (Coen version) whilst it looked nice and seemed interesting, very hard to understand - I think because of accent as well as mumbling.


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Old 07-17-2013, 08:54 PM
Henchman Henchman is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

I hate to point out the obvious, but as Marti said, its OUR job as re-recording mixers to make sure that the numbers are heard.

I have seen movies and TV shows where it was simply sub-par mixing that was the problem. Pretty much all actors mumble and speak low these days. Yet some shows and movies wouldn't fine. Others suck.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:53 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Actors use to be able to whisper to the back row of the house, now the can barley whisper to the tip of there noise

I lay most of the blame on directors not demanding better from the actors

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Old 07-22-2013, 05:54 PM
CME CME is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Fwiw I didn't have any problems with pacific rim. I heard everything fine. And this was at a smaller but somewhat new theater. It was actually a decent level. This theater has a tendency to turn the volume down. Or at least compared to the theaters in Dallas I've been to.
However the friend I went with mentioned he had trouble understanding the actors. I simply thought it was a conflict of our okie accent and the various accents in the movie. Maybe the dialogue was a little low. I didn't notice it.

However Bane in the last batman. I don't get what they did there at all.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:27 AM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Re: Encouraging...

Originally Posted by CME View Post

However Bane in the last batman. I don't get what they did there at all.

Darth Connery, as I immediately re-christened him.

Ironically, the only line of his that I did understand was :

"That's a lovely, lovely voice."

With regards to Pacific Rim, I was just curious as to whether or not it was down to the specific theatre I happened to see the movie in - the same V.O. dialogue is crystal clear in the trailer, but that's contextually completely different.

Another possible factor could be that almost every role in Pacific Rim (as increasingly seems to be the case in T.V. & Film, which may be a cause of Mumbleitis) was played by an actor of one nationality, speaking with the accent of another nationality.

You had Brits playing Americans, Brits playing Australians, Americans playing Australians, Canadians playing Russians etc.

Whilst actors abilities with accents have come on in leaps and bounds over the past 15 - 20 years (who didn't think Stringer Bell was the real deal? For once Idris Elba is actually speaking with an English accent in Pacific Rim), it seems many of them are still a little insecure about it, and tend to speak quietly, or mumble rather than risk exposing their accent too obviously.

Most people (in the U.K. at least) were completely taken in by Damian Lewis' accent in Band of Brothers, and that role required him to have a very broad dynamic range. I personally found his accent slightly less convincing in Homeland (though most people disagree with me on that one), but he does seem to be one of those few actors that can enunciate clearly, in a convincing foreign accent, whilst maintaining a good dynamic, and having the ability / confidence to tackle different regional accents.

I also agree, with regards to the buck stopping with the Re-Recording Mixer, in terms of how it all sounds in the end - but you're more likely to end up getting cursed than praised.

I see any mix as being like a dance, where you're waltzing with a number of changing partners, all with slightly different styles and abilities, adjusting your balance in harmony with one another - ideally it shouldn't turn in to a wrestling match.

Unfortunately it's not an ideal world, and too often there isn't time for a considered discussion between the Director, Composer, Sound Designer, and Mixer, ahead of time with regards to how the sonic puzzle will best fit together.

Instead, what often happens is that each department is in a mad dash to cover every base, because they weren't afforded the time to plot things out specifically - or they weren't given specific, committed direction.

Then, instead of ruthlessly serving the film, you have to come up with the best political compromise between the Composer, FX Mixer, and Dialog Mixer, where nobody feels too bent out of shape, or trampled over - that's not to say it doesn't sound good, but it's a compromise none the less, and usually one party walks away feeling tolerant, rather than satisfied.

With regards to less experienced Actors, and Directors, it's great on the one hand that they understand the use of dynamics in a performance. But if they haven't thought through how those dynamics fit in to the broader sonic puzzle, that just ends up making our job more of a wrestling match than a waltz.

As far as the original article that I linked to, I don't for a moment think that they were suggesting the BBC go back to Received Pronunciation. And there was clear acknowledgement of the role Dubbing Mixers play, as well as acknowledging that due to poor judgement (on the part of the Directors / Producers) that Brian Cox series, Wonders of the Universe, had to be remixed for subsequent broadcasts / DVD due to overly loud music.

The buck stops with the mixer, but so much of that mix is out of your control, especially after it leaves your dubbing theatre.
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