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Hackenbacker Creates Out Of This World Audio For BBC1's Outcasts

Hackenbacker Creates Out Of This World Audio For BBC1's Outcasts
Kudos Film & TV, the production company behind era-defining hit programmes such as Spooks, Hustle and Life On Mars, has once again commissioned post production facility Hackenbacker to handle all of the audio post for its latest series Outcasts.
Due to start broadcasting on February 7 on BBC 1, this eight part drama series is set in the future on the recently discovered planet of Carpathia, which is now home to the surviving population from Earth. Settled in the town of Forthaven, the Outcasts are a group of people who have left their old lives on Earth behind in extraordinary circumstances. Each one has been promised a second chance at life and an opportunity to create a new society, far award from home, family, friends and the past.
Led by President Tate and his core team of Stella, Cass and Fleur, the Outcasts are all passionate about their jobs, confident of their ideals and optimistic about the future. But as they work and live together, they come to realise this is no ordinary planet and they begin to wonder if there is a bigger purpose at work. The series tells of their dilemmas, loves and lives - and of the mystery that lurks around them, threatening to shatter Forthaven's fragile peace.
Hackenbacker has 25 years experience in the audio post field and has won numbers awards for the quality of its work on film and television projects such as Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Hotel Babylon, Criminal Justice, Four Lions, In Bruges, Downton Abbey and Is Anybody There?
This combination of proven expertise and excellent technical facilities were key reasons why Kudos chose Hackenbacker to handle the entire audio post for Outcasts. Equally relevant was the skill of its team, which includes James Feltham, who pre-mixed Outcasts in Studio Two, and Nigel Heath and Alexander Fielding, who tackled all final mixing in Studio One.
The series, which was filmed in South Africa, offered the chance to create new and unheard atmospheres and technical effects that are literally 'out of this world'.
The ISDN connectivity in Hackenbacker's Studio 3 allowed the directors to participate in remotely recorded ADR. Studio 3 was the chosen venue for the show's UK based artists because its superbly neutral acoustic makes it one of the best sounding rooms for ADR in the UK.
Hackenbacker's Foley stage was also kept busy on Outcasts as it was used to create many of the sounds for the varied environments on Carpathia. These proved quite a challenge for the team, led by Foley engineer Keith Partridge.
The wealth of spectacular sequences, combined with music by Paul Englishby, has resulted in a series that is a sonic tour-de-force.
Commenting on the project, Hackenbacker's director Nigel Heath said: "One of the biggest challenges was the dialogue. With no traffic or similar constant sounds on Carpathia, getting the dialogue to a clean enough state to create the illusion of our fictional location was a tall order. However, we did it - and we did it without filtering it to death, which was good. As for the effects and music, well, it's always fun to mix a sci-fi project with rockets, space ships, massive meteorological events and a big score."
As with all projects undertaken by Hackenbacker, all the editors and engineers who contributed played an important part in achieving an impressive result.
Heath added: "We had great people on Outcasts and the pre-mixing in Studio 2 was vital because it enabled me to focus on adding some nice touches on the final mix pass."
Outcasts is a Kudos Film & Television, BBC America and BBC co-production, distributed by BBC Worldwide. Series producer Radford Neville said choosing Hackenbacker to handle the audio post was a straightforward decision: "The production team of Outcasts were confident that Hackenbacker would be equal to the challenge of creating the soundscape for a whole new planet. They embraced the task with flair, creativity, technical expertise and lots of patience! The results are truly outstanding."
Radford added that creating a soundscape for a new planet that doesn't have traffic or aeroplanes posed particular challenges for the Post Produciton Sound department.
He said: "We required extremely clean dialogues and I was very impressed by the smooth running and success of ADR sessions down the line from Hackenbacker to South Africa and America."
Nigel Heath added: "We were delighted to welcome Rad and all the directors to Hackenbacker for Outcasts - we had a blast. I hope the audience enjoys the show as much as we enjoyed contributing to it."
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