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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain scenesixty's Avatar
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    I wondered if post-production audio sound is added to all films by the sound editor, or just some. If it is common, I cannot fathom out then how they lip synch it so perfectly? Especially in close up-how can it be so perfect?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I think it's more down to the actors doing the dubbing, whether the original performers saying it over and over again until they get it spot on or the experts like Robert Rietty and David De Keyser who could do it without thinking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Marlon Brando was said to be so fond of looping he'd put no effort at all into his lines during filming and then perform perfectly during the almost obligatory looping session afterwards.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    I thought that pretty much all British or American films the actors' were recorded in situ, with the sound effects and miscellaneous bits and pieces being added afterwards.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon View Post
    I thought that pretty much all British or American films the actors' were recorded in situ, with the sound effects and miscellaneous bits and pieces being added afterwards.
    You're correct, but sometimes when the sound editor listens back to the audio recording there may have been problems with the sound, or the tape. The director and editor will go for the best visual take of a scene, rather than the audio. Sometimes it's impossible to record live sound in a particular location due to too much ambient noise. Some directors hate looping, because it tends to have a dead sound - Joss Whedon used it deliberately for this purpose in scenes from the season 4 finale of Buffy.

    Of course in Italy almost all films are dubbed after shooting - which means carpenters etc can carry on building sets while the film is shot (this particualrly annoyed Rod Steiger in Duck, You Sucker), which is why they are able to have international casts.

    And sometimes an actor (normally actress) is hired for their looks but dubbed by another person because of an accent (Hammer were fond of this).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    There are also quite puzzling dubbing decisions in some films too: for example, why was William Mervyn dubbed by Geoffrey Keen in Carve Her Name With Pride (1958) and Andr� Morell by George Pastell in She (1965) when they both had fine voices of their own? Maybe they weren't available for dubbing later or new plot points had to be put into the dialogue late in the day when they were off working on other projects?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    I agree Gerald - I'm assuming that as very busy character actors much in demand they simply weren't available for the day booked in the studio for the dubbing/looping. It's the simplest explanation (unlike Ingrid Pitt's dubbing in Countess Dracula which was an act of spite by the director - Hammer were furious as they hired her partly because of her East European accent!)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Hong Kong kung fu movies were usually filmed silent, without bothering with any on-set sound recording. There were too many city sounds or planes taking off, for all the period costume martial arts movies that they were making. It also means that in the fight scenes the actors could shout their signals for timing the punches to help avoid accidents. The dubbing actors and foley artists (sound effects) on those movies became quite sophisticated, although for most of us the poor quality of the script makes the dubbed versions almost unwatchable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Yes, a lot of "Hong Kong English" script dialogue is unintentionally hilarious. "Beware, the wolves will burst your tits this time!" "A big fool with a gun, go to war, get surrendered and turn to a cake" Etc.

    Some actors, of course, were dubbed for health reasons- Jack Hawkins, for instance, was dying of throat cancer for the last five years of his career, meaning all his lines in films like THEATRE OF BLOOD and TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS had to be dubbed by Charles Gray. On the other hand, Gray most definitely spoke all his own lines in THE DEVIL RIDES OUT- but Leon Greene, who played Rex Van Ryn, was considered both "too Cockney" and "too Jewish" by certain Hammer bigwigs, meaning that whilst his archetypally "heroic" physique and suave visage remained onscreen for all to see, his voice had to be replaced in post-production by that of Patrick Allen.

    And we all know about Dave Prowse...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Gurney View Post
    Yes, a lot of "Hong Kong English" script dialogue is unintentionally hilarious. "Beware, the wolves will burst your tits this time!" "A big fool with a gun, go to war, get surrendered and turn to a cake" Etc.

    Some actors, of course, were dubbed for health reasons- Jack Hawkins, for instance, was dying of throat cancer for the last five years of his career, meaning all his lines in films like THEATRE OF BLOOD and TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS had to be dubbed by Charles Gray. On the other hand, Gray most definitely spoke all his own lines in THE DEVIL RIDES OUT- but Leon Greene, who played Rex Van Ryn, was considered both "too Cockney" and "too Jewish" by certain Hammer bigwigs, meaning that whilst his archetypally "heroic" physique and suave visage remained onscreen for all to see, his voice had to be replaced in post-production by that of Patrick Allen.

    And we all know about Dave Prowse...
    In the trailer for The Devil Rides Out, you can hear Leon's own voice and the trailer narrator is . . . Patrick Allen!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Oddly, on some prints of The Red Beret (1953), Stanley Baker is dubbed by John Van Eyssen, although the reason for this has never been explained, as Stanley's own voice was used in two other films he made that year, Hell Below Zero and Knights of the Round Table.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Maybe he had a strong cold when the recording dates came along. Or a sore throat. Or was out of the country on another shoot.

    Then there are the stars whose voices were fine for dialogue, but considered not good enough for the singing parts of their roles. Good work for Marni Nixon though, who did the singing for many a fine actress in her career (eg, Audrey Hepburn and Deborah Kerr).

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Although not British, there's a hilarious (relatively) recent Steven Seagal film in which he is dubbed for about half of his dialogue (sometimes in mid-scene for part of a scene) by someone else. I read on the IMDB that some of the plot was changed in post production and Seagal couldn't be got back into the dubbing suite to redub his dialogue so the producer just got someone else to do it, no matter that it results in monologues in which his voice keeps flipping back and forth from himself to his dubber.


    I also understand that in a number of 1950s British 'epics' a lot bit parts were sometimes dubbed by one or two people (Reitty sometimes and Peter Sellers did some of this work). Obviously much cheaper getting one person to do 10 small bits then getting 10 different people in.
    Last edited by m35541; 12-12-16 at 01:21 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain scenesixty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon View Post
    I thought that pretty much all British or American films the actors' were recorded in situ, with the sound effects and miscellaneous bits and pieces being added afterwards.

    A good answer I thought! A good example is the dialogue spoken by Jennie Linden in the snowbound scenes of 'Nightmare' (1963) you can see the icy exhalation of her breath in the frosty air-that would be 'recorded in situ'.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    I've just been sent some paperwork concerning "The Truth About Spring." All the location recording (most of the film was shot on location) was found to have the sound of the electric generator in the background. All the dialogue had to be dubbed at MGM Borehamwood. The only problem was that James MacArthur had returned to the US. The production company suggested MacArthur simply loop his dialogue at Universal Studios and send it to the UK. It was then pointed out by MGM that if ANY of the film was the product of a non-commonwealth studio they could kiss any Eady Levy money goodbye.

    I don't know how this was resolved - can anyone with a copy of the film let me know.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    The movie is on YouTube. I looked briefly at a scene with MacArthur and it sounds like him.

  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon View Post
    I thought that pretty much all British or American films the actors' were recorded in situ, with the sound effects and miscellaneous bits and pieces being added afterwards.
    It depends which period you're talking about. In the early days of three strip Technicolor the camera made so much noise (even with the soundproof blimp fitted) that it was rare for sound to be successfully recorded in situ. Almost all of them were dubbed afterwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
    There are also quite puzzling dubbing decisions in some films too: for example, why was William Mervyn dubbed by Geoffrey Keen in Carve Her Name With Pride (1958) and Andr� Morell by George Pastell in She (1965) when they both had fine voices of their own? Maybe they weren't available for dubbing later or new plot points had to be put into the dialogue late in the day when they were off working on other projects?
    There are many myths about dubbing. People are sometimes reported as having been dubbed (by themselves or by others) when they weren't. Dubbing is sometimes reported as being done when it wasn't. Don't believe everything you read, especially without proof or supporting evidence.

    Steve

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    There are many myths about dubbing. People are sometimes reported as having been dubbed (by themselves or by others) when they weren't. Dubbing is sometimes reported as being done when it wasn't. Don't believe everything you read, especially without proof or supporting evidence.
    For "The Truth About Spring" I've got MGM documents outlining the extra costs as compared to the initial cost estimates. I've also got a note to A. W. Watkins thanking him for the excellent job he did. The only thing I'm missing is how they solved the MacArthur problem. He might have just jumped on a plane.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 22-12-16 at 10:11 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I'm no expert, but to me that IS James MacArthur without a shadow of a doubt. The scene I just watched was not sound recorded in situ, but the audiences of the day would most likely not have been aware of that. It is very well done. Even some well-financed modern films find it difficult to get audio tracks recorded in a studio that can match up well to the location visuals. Imagine what effort has to go into getting the balances right. And how on earth do they get it to work on CGI blockbusters where the "location" doesn't even exist outside of a computer. The answer is, once again, if the story is good and the actors convincing, then nobody notices anything at all. Sound recording is another one of those special areas of film-making where the ultimate praise is reserved for those whose work goes unnoticed. Only the professionals should ever know.
    Last edited by StoneAgeMan; 22-12-16 at 11:21 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    There are many myths about dubbing. People are sometimes reported as having been dubbed (by themselves or by others) when they weren't. Dubbing is sometimes reported as being done when it wasn't. Don't believe everything you read, especially without proof or supporting evidence.

    Steve
    In the case of Carve Her Name With Pride and She, I'm believing my own ears.

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