Post Production Sound
Movies and TV, Posts

Business as Usual

We came into last week with a big gigantic thud, hitting the ground rather unexpectedly because summer just came to an end for us.  Sure of course we knew the dates but time just flew by so quickly we were completely unprepared.  But we rallied and here we are.  Already this morning I got the, “I don’t want to go to school” from my 14-year-old son to which I immediately replied, “It’s a bit early for that mate!”  It’s true though it’s hard to get momentum.

You know what I mean? What to make for lunch? What to cook for dinner? (again) Which activity do you need to be at?  How does one person get two people in two different spots at one time?

But the biggest killer for me is When will I start that diet?  (The answer is yesterday but I’m still looking for an easier option: read my head isn’t into it).

So yes, we’re back in full swing.

I wrote last week about my daughter’s party: Aussie style with a twist of 90210 and a Hollywood chaser.  It was a huge success.  Everything went down like a treat and the girls were extremely gracious and appreciative of the party.  That pleased me to no end.  Many of these girls have just come back from summer in Europe, camp and stays at incredible hotels yet they were genuinely happy and impressed with the party we threw.

The power of sound

Of course they were, the facility my husband has is amazing (not his personally you’ll understand).  I don’t know anything technical about post production except the tiny glimpses I’ve been privy to but when I sat in that sound stage watching a movie I was blown away by the sound and the impact it had on our viewing pleasure.  Apart from the amazingly comfy lounge chairs and side tables for lollies and drinks and the movie itself the girls also noticed the sound.  And it wasn’t one of those movies in which sound plays a crucial role.  It was just that sound is so powerful, and the facility is soooo incredible that you notice it.  Kapow!

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited back to watch Get On Up, the story about James Brown.  Now that movie does rely on sound.  What an experience.  Watching a well-made movie in one of the best sound stages in Hollywood (so the world) is an absolute privilege.  So much so that Princess Gwendolyn here is hooked.

I highly recommend you see the movie–preferably in a theatre or a good quality home cinema.  I’m sure it’s available on M-Go. (I for one am pleased I saw it in a theatre).

At the start it took a little concentration as the movie jumped from many different stages in his life.  But once it settled down then the story  was off.  There was so much I didn’t know or understand about James Brown’s life.  I knew he spent time in prison, for example, but I didn’t know he had a rough childhood or that he shared his father’s problem of beating his wife.  I found it terribly confronting but also incredibly real.  (James Brown also reminds me of one of my good mates and my Uni days so listening to the music–which is all his original music–brought back many memories).


I’ve spent a bit more time at my husband’s company in the last couple of weeks and have had the opportunity to see a little about what goes on behind the scenes.  We all know it takes a few months to shoot a movie and we all know that there’s quite a bit of editing that needs to be done to pull the story together and the sound track needs to be added but there’s so much more to the process.

Take colour for example.  My husband’s company has one of the best (arguably the best) colourist in the business.  He does all the Marvel movies.  It’s easy to see how colour plays a key role in a movie when you watch Guardians of the Galaxy, still evident when you watch The Giver but perhaps not at all noticeable when you watch a movie like Get On Up.

Yet every movie that comes into post-production needs to be coloured.  It has sort of a washed-out look and the filmmakers have a hue in mind when they colour the final version that sets the look, feel and tone of the film.  TV too (which they refer to as Broadcast).

Incredible when you think about it.  That same colourist will most often then go on to colour the DVD and Netflix/M-Go version too.  That’s a lot of painstaking detail.

Going to the movies

This all got me thinking: why don’t people go to the movies to see movies?  Or at least why aren’t as many people going to the movies to watch movies?  Guilty.  If I’m on a date night I actually want to talk to my husband so the movies are out for me.  And if we’re having a family night in because we can’t be bothered going anywhere then there’s no better service than M-Go or Netflix for watching the latest flicks or catching up on one you missed.

My family is also old enough now that going to the movies can be all together again-it’s not about getting away from the kids it’s about enjoying it with them.  We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy together and it was a fun thing thing to do.  I love comparing notes and thoughts at the end.

It’s so much better at the movies that I wonder how I can share my new-found joy with everyone else and encourage them to return to the movies.  I wonder if I put my marketing hat back on how I could encourage people back to the movies.

I remember when DVDs first came out… (ahem excuse me Video recorders if you don’t mind) they said the cinemas were dead.  And for a time people opted to rent a video and stay home.  But DVD shops (or the old Video Ezy) are not around anymore yet movie theatres are.

Is this just another dip or a trend?  I can’t see how people will stop going to the movies altogether when you have huge screens, amazing sound and create an experience.  Movie theatres need to get smarter and I think studios need to do their bit too.

At home Hoyts and Village are doing their bit by offering the Gold Class experience.  But sometimes these experiences are a bit like flying business class: perfect if you’re upgraded or someone else is paying but you’d rather keep the difference for the (exhorbitantly priced) choc tops and popcorn.

Dolby has a new sound system known as Atmos where speakers are located in the ceiling as well as around you so if a plane is taking off it feels like it’s taking off over your head.  These experiences can help lure would-be theatre-goers back to the theatres because there’s a profound difference in quality between what’s offered at home and what’s offered in the cinemas.

I’m going to try out some luxury cinemas in LA and report back.  I’m also going to do my best to see more movies.

My little slice of Hollywood

As I sat in the Sound stage last Saturday afternoon, the girls with their throw rugs covering them watching the movie intently, us in the rear couches designed for movie makers to conference and share their opinions I’ve finally decided what I’d like to do if I changed jobs.

Comfy couches

This is where we sat on Saturday to watch the movie (the girls were up the front)


Yep, if I got the good fortune to change careers I’d like to do something in entertainment.  My memory is hopeless so I could never learn the lines even if I wanted to be an actress but I’d like to sit on those couches and make movies.  I guess the closest thing to that is my sitcom: It Started in LA.  Best I keep working.

Yep, it’s back to business here in Hollywood.  As you were.

xx It Started in LA xx

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