A follow-up of our discussion of ADR and looping. Make sure to check out previous posts Actors In Tiny Boxes and ADR, Emmys, and Atomic Bombs. Not only do individual actors often come back into the studio to re-record audio after production has wrapped, sometimes groups of actors called “loop groups” are brought in to recreate or enhance off-camera dialogue, ambience, or general group chatter.
I had a wonderful loop group that worked on that project. The director, Nick Meyer, wanted the sound of the earth itself screaming in protest as it was torn apart. So I lined up my 20 loopers and recorded a separate scream from each of them. I also recorded a scream from all the women loopers together and a separate scream from all the men plus a few screams from the entire group. I did this at the complete end of the group looping sessions which lasted, if I remember correctly, around a week or so.
I cut these screams together and the result was amazing! When you heard the screams without any other sound, it WAS like the death throes of the earth! But when the incredible work of the sound effect editors was added to the screams it was chilling. And even though we had all worked on this for months and months, when we heard and saw the final result on the dub stage, I don’t think there was a single dry eye in the room. The bombs fell, the trees swayed violently, buildings crumbled and exploded, people and horses were vaporized…and over, through, and beneath it all was sound. Terrifying sound. Sound made more human by the voices of 20 terrific actors portraying the earth itself.
Picture from Brendan Donnison www.lypsinc.com