I was asked for this project to create the ADR and Foley for the above video. To accomplish this, I teamed up with four other people to brainstorm and create the above clip. The video was provided to us for the purpose of this assignment with only dialogue by the characters and any SFX that were captured on set. We began the project by getting together as a group and watching footage to take note of SFX and dialogue. This would serve as our guide when we would enter the studio to create these sounds. After spending a total of at least 9 hours in the sound studio, we had a full library of sounds ranging from Automated Dialog Replacement for five of the six characters and sound effects for the overall scene. Afterward, we made adjustments in protools to manage levels, smooth transitions, and warp sounds to create this full project. Enjoy Defenseless.
How we chose what tools to use for sound
As I mentioned above, there was a necessary step of familiarizing ourselves with the clip to choose the best sounds for the video. We gathered as a group after the class when we were given the assignment. We noted each sound effect we would need to add in or adjust and its respective timecode. After we had made the list for the sounds, we gathered ideas about what tools we would need to recreate these sounds. Some examples were lettuce for punching sounds, celery for breaking of bones and hangers for the whipping of the air as an arm goes for a punch. Other tools we did not bring in were provided by the studio itself as it had an array of random objects to use for Foley recording.
Some obstacles we faced
The first one was getting the studio time and gathering the group together to accomplish this assignment. Nine hours of our time spent in the studio is a lot and it is all the more difficult with five different schedules of the students to plan around, as well as the studio’s schedule.
The second obstacle was making sure we completed the work in the time we had available in the studio. ADR and Foley work can be challenging and take up a lot of time to be completed, especially when we need to do multiple takes to get a sound just right. We knew what needed to be done, but the challenge was trying to get it done in the time we had available to use the studio.
The third and final obstacle was trying to pick the tools to create the right sounds on screen. We may have initially had an idea of what to use to make a particular sound, but when it came time to record it for the video, it didn’t sound right. When the sound and visual were put together, it didn’t convince us that it was the right sound to use. So we then had to go back to square one and decide on other tools to use for that sound.
What I’m Proud of vs. What I want to Improve on
What I’m proud of was the excellent work done by each of my classmates. While some had more dialogue than others, this didn’t stop them from doing their part in the studio with the equipment and Pro Tools. Because we were all willing to coordinate, we came out with an excellent product. In addition, I am proud of the extra sound designing we did afterward to fill out the clip. This made the video a lot cohesive and impressive when we shared it with the class. Lastly, I’m proud of the creativeness of the group in recording these sound effects and ADR. We mixed up gender of voice to character on screen, as well as using a lot of unique tools to create the sounds we were watching on screen.
What I would like to improve on is very little. The first being that I would like to go back into the file and bring up some of the levels even more so that all lines could be heard at the exact same clarity. The second improvement would be to go back into the studio and add even more foley and ADR. The assignment only required us to replace 5 of the 6 characters, but I think it would be even better to add ADR for that 6th character. Also, there are some sounds we did not create as we ran out of time in the studio, but were not required. I would like to go back into the studio and add those extra sounds to fill out the video even more than we did.
What did I learn?
Sound design requires a great deal of teamwork. This is something that I have grown to appreciate as working creatively on your own can be exhausting. Having other people to help brainstorm, create and edit the work can make the project so much more than I could have imagined. While working with four other people did create some obstacles in certain ways, I think that the work they did to create this video was well worth it. I appreciate the team I had and the resources that DePaul University gave us as student to create this project. Because of these things, I have created my best sound design project yet.