Nathan AshtonNathan Ashton

The Process

I am honored every time I am chosen to assist with someone’s dream. There are a lot of moving parts to Audio Postproduction, but my team is really good at wrangling everything together. An overview of our workflow is as follows… 

Plan:

Lets talk over your project.

  • How long is it?
  • What kind of special challenges do we face?
  • When do you expect to lock picture?
  • What does your composer’s schedule look like?
  • When do you want to wrap?
  • What is the target: Blu-ray? Theatrical?
  • Where is the intersection between cost and budget?

Assemble:

Let’s get to work!

  1. Deliver Picture and OMF according to proper specs.
  2. Schedule a spotting session.
    • This is a time for the composer, sound team, and Director to talk through the movie. This is where we try to get inside your head. Additional detail talks may be necessary with composer or sound team as the movie comes together.
    • Ideally the Director will supply a copy of their notes, including notes on which scenes will be music driven vs sound effect driven, to the team in advance.
    • This takes at least 4 hours, but we should plan on a full day.
  3. Edit and clean Dialogue
  4. Assemble ADR and blend it to match production
    • I will flag a set of cues for ADR, email that list to you, and review it together.
    • I can help you coordinate ADR at studios anywhere in the world, travel to your production HQ, or conduct it at my studio in Cleveland, TN.
  5. Design Sound Effects
  6. Edit in Ambiances
  7. Edit in Sound Effects
  8. Contract, record, edit, and mix Walla
  9. Record, edit, and mix Foley
  10. Receive Music from Composer
    • THE PROCESS CAN NOT PROCEED FURTHER WITHOUT MUSIC
    • Temp music can be used for temp dubs during the assembly stage, but result in a certain amount of wasted time.

Mix:

Almost there…

  1. Premix Session(s)
    1. This stage can be done remotely. Stereo mix stems are sent to the Director for evaluation or for showing to focus groups.
  2. Mix Session
    • This is best done with the Director (and other decision making people) present.
    • For films expecting theatrical release, this will take place on a Dolby calibrated final mix stage.
  3. Final Re-recording Mix Session
    • Changes identified in Mix Session are made and final mix is approved

Deliver:

Wrap it up!

  • Creating deliverables of the approved mix takes about half a day.
  • Often this includes:
    • 5.1 Sound Mix Stems
    • 5.1 Dolby Digital AC3
    • 5.1 and Stereo M&E Stems
    • Stereo Mixdown
    • Stereo DME (Dialog, Music, and Effects) Stems
  • For a feature film, about 500GB of space should be available on a hard drive.

Enjoy!

There’s nothing quite like sitting back and watching the rewards of quality labor.

It’s your sound… made clear.