My internship with Dean requires me to record, find, and collate sound design and archival sound recordings for a four part documentary series on JFK. To do this job I am required to use Pro Tools to edit and mix sound to video. It requires me to load up the video editors aaf files and insert, mix and edit audio to send back to Dean, whom then inserts audio into the timeline which is then due to go to a dub stage on August 8th.
The first week and especially the first couple of days was an incredibly big learning curve, as I had never used Pro Tools for long film projects. Also given the quickness of turnaround I had never been given such a short time span to get work submited.
It felt like it exposed all my weakness and insecurities which was a really good thing as it forced me to learn very quickly. I spent half the week googling pro tools issues and working out timecode issues. Converting the mp4 to high res proxy file also took 9hrs, which chewed into my editing time somewhat.
I sent Dean a draft of Chapter 1, whereas he gave me feedback, which was that my work required more detail to match visual movement on screen, such as passing cars, planes and people talking.
Based on this feedback, I went back and did another pass at chapter 1, which Dean was happier with.
We had four 1 - 2 hour zoom meetings on the first week. Whereas Dean showed me a lot of functionalities and software suites in Pro Tools. We discussed strategies for designing sound for the documentary. Essentially coming up with a recipe for me to execute.
Essentially we decided on impressionistic recipe of sound that was old and fitting to the footage. Using an economical stratgety of sound placement. Dean sent me a folder of sounds he made for the introduction sequence as reference. He also sent me a few pro tools tutorials video links, of the best ways of bouncing down files to share.
I download a program called Cyberduck to download video aaf and guide tracks from the JFK server that the video editor uploaded too, and I also created a google drive folder to send the files back to Dean.
Another big part of the job has been undertaking extensiveresearch in order to match sounds accurately to sources. Such as particular cars, guns and locations.
It was quite surprising that overall Dean said he was pleasantly surprised and is happy with my work. With most of the feedback been in regard to technical issues such as file formats and bounces.
Chapter 1 Examples
Using an impressionistic lens to create the sound of cars crowds and vehicles mostly out of electromagnetic recordings of household appliances blurred with cars and crowd sounds. This is one of my favourite sounds I made and it became a reoccurring motif in other instances of JFK's motorcade.
Below is another sequence that goes from tanks, to a navy vessel, to planes. In most instances involving vehicles or machinery I would first do research into what type of vehicle it was and what it sounded like. I would then source the original sound, through sound libraries, or I would create sounds make similar to the reference material.
The additive sound I created in the below sequence uses the combines street ambiences from England in the 1930's and Cuba in the 1960's. I then used a series of spinning grainy static sounds to create an old sound and feeling.