We have been featuring tips in audio post production in Pro Tools from Marcelo Cyro from the Oscar nominated animation - The Boy And The World. In this article Marcelo is demonstrating the use of time based effects in film sound in a live action film Chatô, The King of Brazil to put the viewer inside the scene. Over to you Marcelo...
This movie is Chatô, The King of Brazil, was post produced at the WeCanDo Audio post facility by myself, Pedro Lima, Vitor Motter and Sergio Fouad and won one of the best technician's awards in Latin America - the ABC best sound for picture (ABC is the Brazilian's Association of Cinematographic).
In this article I want to show you how to create time based effects on dialogue to put you inside the scene, to help the viewer engage and relate to the characters in the story.
Time-based effects include all processes where some form of manipulation of time occurs to the signal like delays, chorusing, flanging (short delays with modulation), phasing (small amounts of time), reverbs, pitch shift and harmonizers (slowing or speeding the signal while adding or removing slices to keep it in time with the music), etc.
All these effects change the signal’s timing in one way or the other to produce the desired result, and I want to show you some ways to use time-based effect to get dialog more excitement and help the story of a movie. Here are two scenes in the film Chatô, The King of Brazil. In the first clip we see that the main character is having some hallucinations, and some medical problems. I wanted to help reinforce this part of the narrative with sound.
We created an effect using a delay with different feedbacks and modulations, to help tell the story of a health problem by portraying confused voices, placing the viewer inside the character's head. We used the Eventide H3000 delay with automation to emphasise the effect especially at the end of the voices phrases!
In the second video , the main character is in a hospital bed , we can not see the character, but we can place the viewer with the character with the use of time-based effects on the dialog.
We designed this effect to create dimension and depth, so that we feel inside the scene. We used one main plugin: a flanger with a slow oscillation – the flanger is an effect that uses two sound sources with unequal delays, creating a comb filter effect. It is a similar effect to the one used on the voice of Darth Vader.
In this example, we created an increased spatial awareness and a larger spread of the voices use EQ and a harmonizer.
Next time we are going to look at the effect of foley on a film mix. Do share your thoughts and suggestions for using time-based effects on dialog in film audio post production.