Tag Archives: Inside Out

Sound work recognized by the CAS and MPSE

By Mel Lambert

While George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road swept the Academy Awards for both sound editing and sound mixing — congratulations, respectively, to co-supervising sound editors Mark Mangini and David White, production mixer Ben Osmo, and re-recording mixers Chris Jenkins and Gregg Rudloff — members of the Cinema Audio Society/CAS and Motion Picture Sound Editors/MPSE favored a broader cross section of film and TV productions during their recent awards ceremonies held in Hollywood in late February.

Hosted by comedian Elayne Boosler, the 52nd CAS Awards celebrated the lifetime contributions of ADR mixer Doc Kane by honoring him with the CAS Career Achievement Award for his more than 350 film credits. There were special video tributes from both Disney Animation and Pixar, as well as actor Brad Garrett.

Emmy Award-winning director/producer/screenwriter Jay Roach received the CAS Filmmaker Award, with remarks from Oscar-nominated actor Bryan Cranston and sound designer/re-recording mixer John Ross, CAS.

The CAS Motion Picture — Live Action Award went to The Revenant, with production mixer Chris Duesterdiek; re-recording mixers Jon Taylor, CAS, Frank Montaño and Randy Thom, CAS;  scoring mixer Conrad Hensel; ADR mixer Michael Miller, CAS; and Foley mixer Geordy Sincavage. The CAS Motion Picture — Animation Award went to Inside Out, with original dialog mixer Doc Kane; re-recording mixers Tom Johnson and Michael Semanick; scoring mixer Joel Iwataki; and Foley mixer Mary Jo Lang, CAS.

The Revenant (L-R): Geordy Sincavage; Candice Todesco; Jon Taylor, CAS; Randy Thom, CAS; Chris Duesterdiek; and Charlie O’Shea.

The CAS Television Movie or Miniseries Award went to Fargo: “Season 2 Episode 5” and production mixer Michael Playfair, CAS; and re-recording mixers Kirk Lynds and Martin Lee. The CAS Television Series — One-Hour went to Game of Thrones: “Hardhome” and production mixers Ronan Hill, CAS, and Richard Dyer, CAS; re-recording mixers Onnalee Blank, CAS, and Mathew Waters, CAS; and Foley mixer Brett Voss, CAS. The CAS Television Series — 1/2-Hour Award went to Modern Family: “Connection Lost” and production mixer Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS; plus re-recording mixers Dean Okrand, CAS, Brian R. Harman, CAS, and David Michael Torres. The CAS Television Non-Fiction, Variety or Music Series or Specials Award went to Live From Lincoln Center: Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton, and re-recording mixer Ken Hahn, CAS, and production/house sound mixer Paul Be.

Modern Family (L-R): Presenters Phillip and Mo Collins, Penny Coghlan (supervising sound editor); David Michael Torres, Brian R. Harman, CAS., Dean Okrand, CAS; Srdjan “Serge” Popovic (boom operator); Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS; and William Munroe (boom operator).

Matt Yocum, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, was given the CAS Student Recognition Award with a check for $2,500. CAS Technical Achievement Awards were presented to Sound Devices SL-6 and iZotope RX5-Advanced for Post Production.

Celebrity presenters included former Screen Actors Guild president Ed Asner, Emmy-nominated actor Walton Goggins, actress/writer Mo Collins, actor Charley Koontz, actress Dana Gourrier and comedian Carlos Alazraqui.

MPSE
The 63rd MPSE Golden Reel Awards featured 24 categories encompassing feature films, long/short-form TV, animation, documentaries and other media. Held on February 27 in downtown Los Angeles, opening remarks came from outgoing MPSE president Frank Morrone and incoming president Tom McCarthy.

Doug Hemphill and Lee Smith with Richard King

During the ceremonies, the annual MPSE Filmmaker Award was given to director Sam Raimi by re-recording mixer Marti Humphrey and sound designer/supervising sound editor Jussi Tegelman. Supervising sound editor/sound designer Richard King was presented with an MPSE Career Achievement Award by picture editor Lee Smith and re-recording mixer Doug Hemphill.

MPSE Best Sound Editing: Feature English Language — FX/Foley was a tie, with joint honors going to Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. For Mad Max: Fury Road,  supervising sound editors Mark Mangini, MPSE, Scott Hecker, MPSE, and Wayne Pashley, MPSE; supervising Foley editor Stuart Morton; sound designers David White and Julian Slater; Foley artists John Simpson and Blair Slater; and sound effects editors Fabian Sanjurjo, Cate Cahill, Chris Aud, Chuck Michael, Rick Lisle, Andrew Miller, Emma Mitchell, Alicia Slusarski, Mario Gabrielli, Nigel Christensen, Phil Barrie, Michael Mitchell and Jared Dwyer.

For The Revenant it was supervising sound editors Martín Hernández, Randy Thom, MPSE, and Lon Bender, MPSE; sound designer Jon Title; Foley supervisor Geordy Sincavage; additional supervising sound editor Todd Toon, MPSE; sound effects editors Mark Larry, Dino DiMuro, Adam Kopald, Pernell L. Salinas, Bill Dean, D. Chris Smith, MPSE, Hector Gika, David McMoyler and Stephen Robinson; Foley editors Nancy MacCleod, Ryan Wassil and Aran Tanchum; plus Foley artists Katy Rose, Gretchen Thomas, Rick Owens, Vincent Guisetti, Catherine Harper, Gregg Barbanell and Andrea Gard.

Inside Out

The MPSE Best Sound Editing & Music: Animation — Feature Film went to Inside Out supervising sound editors Shannon Mills and Ren Klyce; supervising dialogue editor Daniel Laurie; supervising music editor Stephen M. Davis; sound designer Ren Klyce; Foley artists John Roesch and Alyson Dee Moore; sound effects editors David C. Hughes, Malcolm Fife and Jeremy Bowker; plus Foley editor Tom Brennan.

The MPSE Best Sound Editing & Music: Documentary — Feature Film went to Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and supervising sound editor Cameron Frankley, sound effects editor Dan Kenyon and music editor Jon Michaels.

The MPSE Best Sound Editing: Feature Film — Music Score went to Star Wars: The Force Awakens supervising music editor Ramiro Belgardt and music editor Paul Apelgren. The MPSE Best Sound Editing: Feature Film — Music in a Musical went to Love & Mercy and music editor Nicholas Renbeck. The MPSE Best Sound Editing: Feature English Language — Dialogue/ADR went to Bridge Of Spies supervising sound editors Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom; supervising dialogue editor Brian Chumney; and supervising ADR editor Steve Slanec.

Presenters included producer Ra’uf Glasgow, actress Briana Brown, supervising sound editor Alan Murray, actress Julia Parker, actor Joe Spano, producer Andrew Sugarman, supervising sound editor Cameron Frankley, Warner Bros. executive Bill Angorola, music editor Thomas Milano and production sound editor/CAS President Mark Ulano.

A complete list of MPSE Golden Reel Awards can be found on the organization’s website: www.mpse.org.

Mel Lambert is principal of Content Creators, an LA-based copywriting and editorial service. He can be reached at mel.lambert@content-creators.com. Follow him on Twitter @MelLambertLA.

Our Main Image: Inside Out (L-R): Presenter Onnalee Blank, CAS, Michael Semanick, Doc Kane, Mary Jo Lang, CAS, Tom Johnson, Joel Iwataki and presenter/actor Walton Goggins. 

MPSE Photos: Tilt Photo

‘Inside Out’: Skywalker helps hug the audience with sound

Pixar’s latest gets a Dolby Atmos mix

By Jennifer Walden

Ever ask yourself what goes through a child’s mind? Well, Pixar did, and the result was their latest Inside Out, which has left audiences laughing and crying. The film focuses on 11-year-old Riley, whose emotions are sent reeling as her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.

The story, by directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen, portrays five main emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear — which hang out in the control room of people’s minds. The audience gets to experience Riley’s tumultuous transition through the actions of those five core emotions as they interact inside her mind. They get to see a bit of how her mom and dad’s minds work too. It’s a refreshingly creative animated feature like no other.

Inside Out has two main environments: inside the mind where everything is hyper-real, and out in the world, where everything seems dull by comparison. “We wanted to have the sound mimic that and to follow the actions they took with the picture,” says re-recording mixer Michael Semanick, who handled the sound effects, backgrounds and music for Inside Out.

Michael Semanick

Since the film’s sound — created at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California — was designed and mixed natively in Dolby Atmos, Semanick and fellow re-recording mixer Tom Johnson, on dialogue/Foley, were able to heighten that difference further by only using the upfront speakers during scenes in the outside world, and the full array of speakers in the Atmos set-up during scenes inside the mind. “We made a conscious decision to have the outside world sound flat, with nothing in the surrounds or the top speakers,” says Semanick.

For inside the mind, sound designer Ren Klyce designed rich backgrounds and elements that could be used in the surrounds and the overhead speakers to fill out the space without being gimmicky or distracting. “For example, Ren had designed these really great water sounds that are, I believe, babies in the womb. They are these cool, inside-the-body-type sounds. I got to move those back and forth and over the top when we’re in the head. It’s very subtle. It’s not meant to be distracting but it’s supposed to give you this feeling like you are inside the mind, and that it’s alive and moving.”

All-Around Sound
With the full-range speakers in the Atmos set-up, Semanick could fluidly move sounds around the theater without having to account for the level dips and EQ differences typical of the surrounds used in 5.1/7.1 set-ups. So when Joy and Sadness get sucked up a memory tube, Semanick was able to fly Klyce’s sound design elements past the viewer without losing low-end detail. “With the Atmos, I can move the sound anywhere and I don’t have to push the level to get the sound to read in the back,” says Semanick.

Additionally, the full-range overhead speakers in the Atmos set-up allowed Semanick to bring sounds in from above, and seemingly move them down the screen. For example, there are memory balls (small, clear balls containing Riley’s memories) that come down from over the top and project light, almost as if they are playing a movie. Since the sound was designed from the ground up in Atmos, Semanick was able to take individual sound elements for that scene and assign them to object panners on the AMS Neve DFC mixing console used in the Kurosawa Studio.

Another advantage to the Atmos set-up was it allowed re-recording mixer Johnson and director Docter to experiment with how they could treat the voices coming from inside Riley’s head. “We didn’t want it to be a standard voiceover. We wanted it to feel like we are inside of this girl’s mind,” says Semanick. “So in the Atmos mix, the first time Joy speaks, it really fills the room up all around you. Then eventually, as she keeps speaking, her voice starts to pull forward and it gets set in a place that is very comfortable, so you realize that this is Joy speaking.”

There are different areas inside the mind, such as the control room where the five emotions interact and decide Riley’s course of action, long-term memory: abstract thought, the subconscious, the memory dump of forgotten memories and the dream studio, which resembles a film stage. Semanick used a combination of stereo reverbs, such as the Lexicon 960 and the TC 6000, to help define those spaces. The control room, with its large windows, has a slight room reverb while the halls of long-term memory are vaster. The reverbs in the subconscious are dark to match the mood of the environment. “We match the reflections to the space,” says Semanick. “When we’re in the canyon of the memory dump area; it’s like an infinite abyss, so the sound has an echo. It’s like looking into the Grand Canyon but you can’t see the bottom. Sometimes I would hit the echo and then fade the reflections quickly, as if they just disappeared into that abyss and then there is no sound. You don’t know if an object is still falling or not.”

Semanick prefers to use several stereo reverbs together to build out the spaces for the Atmos set-up, as opposed to using pre-built multichannel reverbs. “With the stereo reverb or mono reverb, I know how I can place them. I can side-chain them. I can have the reflections build,” he explains. “I can use multiple stereo reverbs and have something different on the top, in the front and in the back. I can manipulate each one separately. I can push the rears louder than I push the fronts, so the reflection comes off a little quicker.”

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Semanick really enjoyed mixing the emotional scenes in Inside Out, particularly in the memory dump where Joy and Riley’s old imaginary friend, Bing Bong, are sitting among disintegrating memory balls. “There isn’t music or any other supporting sound, just the voices from the fading memory balls. Each sound that’s placed in there is so important — from the rewind sound of the memory to Joy turning the ball over and changing hands to the balls in the background that are just disintegrating. They are so lightly touched with a little bit of musical enhancement,” he says.

“There were really great sounds for that which I got to blend in, as each ball breaks and falls into this ash. I agonized over every little flake of those balls. That scene is just so delicate and we spent a lot of time on it. The sound can just help draw the audience in even more, and wrap up their hearts, then rip them out. Those are some of the hardest things to mix, those quiet emotional scenes where every little sound is like a pin drop. When you nail it, you can see the audience’s reaction,” concludes Semanick.