Searching For The MixWhen you get down to the basics, you must ask yourself what exactly you are looking to gain from a mix. Without going into a volume of detail, it could be that you want to achieve an enhanced and audience-appealing balance with all the sounds created for your film. You want to make your film impose an impact that is as powerful, emotional, and meaningful to the audience as it is in your own vision. You want it to provide another dimension. When you consider the highly significant number of influences involved in this process, the amount of detail and application that is needed becomes apparent.

However, don’t sink into the depths of despair! Remember it is your film and, ignoring technical challenges, your creation. You should determine instinctively what best enhances the film and what does not. Therefore, be aware of the mixing advantages, but don’t become too absorbed with them to the detriment of your filmmaking instincts.

At the end of the mix for the day, choose a different seating position in relation to the speakers. For a TV film, has a 3-inch speaker activated to check the sound quality. For a big screen film application, determine if the mix is too much. Is there a volume of different sounds and affects that seem to coming from all directions? Has the meaning and purpose of your original concept been lost?

You may be aware of the odd birdcall that doesn’t fit or the noise of a remote vehicle, but the vast majority of your audience will not notice imperfections in what they’ll perceive as your perfect mix. However, this is your creation and, naturally, you want film perfection, Do what you must to make your dream a screen success!

Post-Production Using Video

New influences in film and video editing became recognized in the industry more than 10 years ago. With the help of the AVID console and similar random access facilities, film-type editing was enabled with video.

With the advances in editing technology, producers and directors were given the capacity to transfer work prints with intact edge numbers to computer hard-drives. Editing was accomplished with video monitors using a digital format. For a fine-cut being achieved, the Avid produced an “Edit List” (EDL) for use in the editing cutting room. This meant that for any producer with a film shot completely on video, the video editor could be regarded in a similar way to a film editor. You are able to screen footage, advise the editor which takes you prefer and, leaving the marked-up script, carry on with your business!

Although this is fine for your program visuals, the sound factor requires a different approach. An example is seen when producing a high-budget documentary or a drama. You are required to download all your audio tracks onto a different type of electronic file. On completion, they must be delivered to a mixing service that can process this type of file. You will discover that the costs of this process are high, but it can produce extraordinary results.

The Avid editor processing facility is a great asset, but there is an exception to using it  – the documentary. Producers and directors who use this facility find it a rare occurrence to complete the shoot with an intact script. It is usual to screen all the footage in a neutral environment and diligently note each shot and sound bite. This is known as “logging.”  The script must then be subjected to a re-write, with notes made for the editor describing where to find the material you have previously chosen for your documentary.

Although this situation can also apply to filmed documentaries, screening with an editor is more common to film. There are various methods of making notes. A well-used one is Vistime coded VHS without any stoppages, making applicable and recognizable notes. These are recorded on the log opposite a sound bite, with a note for the time code. This process is followed by a repeat screening, but with stoppages made to enter more descriptive notes. To ensure that you have detailed the best shots and sound bites, make two lists under separate headings.