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10/03/2011

Hackenbacker Handles Post Production For Submarine

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Comedy star Richard Ayoade makes his film debut on March 18 with the opening of Submarine - and award-winning Soho-based facility Hackenbacker was responsible for tackling the entire post-production on the film, which is already attracting rave reviews.
Submarine was written and directed by Richard Ayoade, best known for his performances in Darkplace, The IT Crowd and The Mighty Boosh. Based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne, Submarine stars Noah Taylor (Shine, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), Paddy Considine (Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee), The Bourne Ultimatum), newcomer Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige (The Sarah Jane Adventures) and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky).
A WARP Films production in association with Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films, Submarine is a coming of age comedy set in Swansea. It tells the story of 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) as he fights to save his parents' marriage while dealing with his own burgeoning romance with an eczema-strafed, pyromaniac girlfriend played by Yasmin Paige.
All aspects of film's audio post production were carried out by Hackenbacker, a facility that has won numerous awards for the quality of its work. Over the past 25 years, the company has tackled numerous film and television projects including such notable productions as Downton Abbey, Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Hotel Babylon, Criminal Justice, Four Lions, In Bruges and Is Anybody There?
For this project, James Feltham premixed dialogues in Studio Two while Hackenbacker director Nigel Heath took care of the final Dolby Digital mix in Studio One, assisted by Alex Fielding.
Nigel Heath said: "We were really delighted when Richard Ayoade approached us to work on his debut feature film. Richard has worked with us for many years and it's always a pleasure to welcome him back. The film presented some great opportunities to explore some exciting sound techniques, from a retro and very minimal, pure approach to some quite wild sonic moments. The music track features some fantastic songs written and performed by Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys. The orchestral score is by Andrew Hewitt and was recorded at Air Studios. Due to a tight schedule, a consequence of Submarine premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was mixed in record time in our Studio One and Two and we're all really excited by the results - it's a film really worth checking out!"
The sound for Submarine not only helps convey a feeling of timelessness (the actual date the film is set in it never revealed) but also reflects, at time, what the central character, Oliver Tate, is sonically aware of. We listen as if we are him. For example, if Tate is focussing on eavesdropping on his mum, then the room atmospheres are absent allowing the audience to really connect with Tate's selective hearing. Over the course of the film, this technique, combined with the front orientated soundfield subliminally invited the viewer to become deeply involved with the characters and totally enveloped in the story, the situations and the emotions.
Submarine contains little ADR and Foley because Ayoade made sure that he captured top quality dialogue and other sounds he wanted while the cameras were rolling, including some 'noises off' which, as Heath commented, "is rare and only possible with great location recordings, which we had from Floor Mixer Martin Beresford."
With sound playing such an important part of the Submarine story, Richard Ayoade was determined to work with the best - not only in terms of floor mixers but also at the post production stage.
Commenting on his decision to take the project to Hackenbacker, he said: "The brilliance and dedication of Nigel and his team make the idea of doing a mix with any other facility other than Hackenbacker completely unthinkable."
(KMcA)
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