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"Gone Girl" ADR


stevegrider
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I was too distracted by the numerous gaps in logic and holes in the story to notice the ADR usage.

Perhaps they were to fix even more script problems that were discovered when they tested the film with audiences that weren't afraid to point out stupidity in the plot.  Unfortunately enough tolerated stupidity remains to spoil the film

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I'm trying to understand how watching any film in a theater is going to give you a clue into a: the amount of ADR and b: why ADR was necessary.

 

How can you be sure that what you are hearing is in fact "ADR"? Perhaps you are hearing Alts, or a different EQ set?

You really shouldn't be able to discern ADR unless it is a terrible mismatch in audio quality or in the final mix.

 

Given the skill set of both Production Mixer; Steve Cantamessa and the Post Sound crew, you probably suffered the same way Courtney did; a poorly executed film that took you right out the story and onto nit picking the final mix.

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RL: " Given the skill set of both Production Mixer; Steve Cantamessa and the Post Sound crew, you probably suffered the same way Courtney did; a poorly executed film that took you right out the story and onto nit picking the final mix. "

although I have yet to see this movie, I would tend to agree with that concept...

Edited by studiomprd
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The only way I guess you can relate to my query is if you see the movie in a theater yourself. It is a little difficult to describe, but here I go:

One example is a scene where the two leads walk into an elevator and the lips looked uniformly 2 frames out to me. The ambience was seemingly omitted and replaced with a low droning score. It was almost as if the director chose to have Ben Affleck narrarate the scene after the fact, almost matching his lips. It very well could have been a creative decision, to make the audience feel that something about the whole scene was "off" (There is a lot about the characters in the film that is "off".)

I was just looking for some insight, because projects of this caliber have ADR all the time, and rarely can anyone in the audience detect it.

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plain Al: " I thought it was a great movie that kept my attention to the end. "

and so, apparently did others...

deadline: " Gone Girl became just the second R-rated drama to defend its box office title in four years, and now Fox hopes to ride the box office momentum to awards season. With a solid drop of just 30%, the movie's sophomore frame sets it up for a strong run at director David Fincher's biggest film, 2007's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which collected $127.5 million. "

 

steve: " projects of this caliber have ADR all the time, and rarely can anyone in the audience detect it. "

I would also agree strongly with this observation, as well...

thus I would also readily agree " It very well could have been a creative decision, " even if we technical types do not understand it.

Edited by studiomprd
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Regarding ADR, overlaps are another reason, for lots of ADR. actors talking over each other ruining intelligibility

Or the scripted lines not matching the next edit.

FILMS that use lots of ad lib such as Wolf of Wall Street, usually require a fair bit of ADR, even if the location sound is A1.

Director needs to address that during the shoot imo

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I feel that dialogue overlap is part of the production mixer's responsibility to keep tabs on.  I always bring it up.  Sometimes I get another go, but often times directors like to keep the flow natural, which I have to respect, and if I know they know what they are doing, spare them the stepped dialogue speech and "carry on".

 

I suspect that many films use more ADR than you might think you can detect.  When done right, it really is quite seamless.  I any ADR I've done, I've never gone back to the production mixer and let them know what lines were dubbed.  Also being primarily a production mixer, I always sympathized with location and personality challenges, and very rarely felt competence of the technician was the issue we were fighting.

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I will weigh in here having worked with David Fincher on "Fight Club": everything you see and here in a David Fincher movie is intentional and tightly governed by David's sensibility, judgement and overall vision for the movie. I will not comment on the specific observation because I haven't seen the movie, but I do know from conversations with David and his longtime collaborator Ren Klyce (sound design) that David likes to use sound, even the dialog, to create certain moods and feelings that do not follow the normal rules. You may agree with what he has done, or not, but I can assure you that none of it represents mistakes or laziness or lack of attention. For me personally, one of the things that I find annoying with most of Fincher's movies is the look: why is everything GREEN? The fleshtones are almost okay but everything else has this characteristic green cast. In keeping with what I have said about Fincher's approach to the soundtrack, I don't have to like what he does with the look but I respect that he has achieved what it is he set out to accomplish.

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Two things annoyed me about this Fincher film.
The fact I could barely understand the dialog in the first couple of flashback scenes, because it was simply mixed too low.
And the fact that the logic in timeline and plot went out the window the last quarter of the movie.
Up until then , I liked it.

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Fincher likes to take the vocal performance from several different takes and lay them over the visual performance of several other takes. He does dozens of takes. So although it might not be ADR, and it might be in perfect sync and EQ due to the skills of the people involved, it probably feels "unnatural".

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There is a big 3-hour presentation on Wednesday, October 15th, covering the post-production workflow on Gone Girl at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood. It's free, and you can register for free here:

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gone-girl-found-6k-tickets-13621906489

 

I would assume there will be a Q&A at some point, and anybody can step up and ask, "hey, howcum there was so much ADR in this movie?" My guess is, knowing how technically astute director Fincher is, he used ADR as a way to rework and change the actors' performance to suit the needs of the film, rather than waste time on the set. And in fairness to him, sometimes you get an idea six months after the material is shot and you decide the intent of the scene has changed in ways that force the dialogue to change. 

 

 

Jeff Wexler said:  For me personally, one of the things that I find annoying with most of Fincher's movies is the look: why is everything GREEN? The fleshtones are almost okay but everything else has this characteristic green cast. In keeping with what I have said about Fincher's approach to the soundtrack, I don't have to like what he does with the look but I respect that he has achieved what it is he set out to accomplish.

 

It's more cyan than green, but I agree, it's an unusual creative choice. The guy who's color-corrected most of Fincher's last couple of films is Ian Vertovec over at Light Iron Digital, and Ian's a very bright, talented guy. No question, what you see is the director's very specific, calculated choice -- good or bad. They wanted it that way. 

 

There's a trend in cinema in general for some directors to go for an intense, strange, over-the-top color scheme -- like the much-discussed "orange/teal look" that you'll find villified all over the net. I'm not sure why directors go in this direction, but you can make a case that they go for weird color when they're worried the script and characters need something more to push them in a certain area. (I'm reminded of certain movies that employed weird, extreme EQ on dialogue for some characters for debatable reasons.) I don't know why they choose not to just make the film look more or less natural, but the excuse I've heard from directors is, "oh, that's too boring. We need a look in order to add some impact to this scene." Or they deliberately want to make the audience uneasy, showing them colors that are vastly or subtly different from real life. Good or bad, they control the picture.

 

One other reason why some movies go for weird looks: 15 years ago, the knobs to create those looks didn't exist for the most part. Now, everybody's got the same knobs. In the film lab, they only had 3 knobs; now, we have about 300 knobs. More knobs = more looks. And there's a tendency to push things too far, which is unfortunate, but it happens. There are still some beautiful movies and TV shows being made; if anything, I'm amazed so much stuff still looks comparatively normal. I was just watching Walking Dead of all things the other day, and thinking, "wow! This actually looks real good!" No weird looks, no green faces (except perhaps the dead zombies), no extreme color... just kinda normal. Makes you wonder...

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I was too distracted by the numerous gaps in logic and holes in the story to notice the ADR usage. Perhaps they were to fix even more script problems that were discovered when they tested the film with audiences that weren't afraid to point out stupidity in the plot.  Unfortunately enough tolerated stupidity remains to spoil the film

 

Some of that was in the original novel, and I can remember some critics taking it to task. One specific was the issue of the "unreliable narrator," where the story that unfolds has a few gaps, and it forces you to wonder who's version of the story to believe. But... the novel went on to become a huge best-seller, and the movie is doing very well at the box-office and is being talked up for Oscars. 

 

One interesting thing that Fincher (and more and more directors these days) are doing is having a shot where the guy on the left side of the frame is from take 3, and the guy he's talking to on the right is from take 9... and they combine both actors into the same shot while the camera is moving. I find this pretty amazing and extremely complicated from an editorial point of view. I don't know the total number, but I'm guessing there are at least 350-400 "invisible optical effects" in Gone Girl where they're doing tons of cheats like this. Almost every shot in the entire movie is a reposition, where they shot a very large 6K frame and then did a zoom to reframe the shot as per Fincher's instructions. The film is still pin-sharp, because what goes out is still at least 4K. It's a very, very complicated process.

 

Although... you could always ask, "why not just frame it correctly to begin with?" I have no answer for that.  ???

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I think the answer for that is that Fincher is a control freak.  It's why he does so many takes (take the performance away from the actors), and composes in post (take the camera away from the operator), etc.

 

In general, I really like his films. "Se7en" is one of my favorite movies of all time.

 

The color of his movies doesn't bother me.  I think they look pretty amazing.

 

I haven't seen "Gone Girl" - It's on the list.

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I saw it already, its a good movie, i also do directing and script writing... For me as a film maker, Gone Girl is a very good movie... Also the one who wrote the book and the one who did the screenplay is the same person... 

 

ADR... i didn't notice any... or maybe i was just really into watching it and not minding the technical stuff of it.. :)

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