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I'm doing all the sound design and music for a short film challenge, right now -- the film has to be uploaded by midnight this coming Monday (the 2nd... technically it's the 3rd, but that's just splitting hairs). Like all film challenges, we're behind where we want to be, and there's a huge press to get things done.

Yesterday, the editor and director spent 7 hours shrinking the film to fit inside the 7:06 time limit. As of this writing, they haven't gotten the final edit to me.

What she has gotten to me is that now she insists that the editor help me with the audio, because he knows what she wants. That, to me, is just not going to work.

The points being: 1) I don't know what audio editor he has, but it's not what I'm used to 2) My rig isn't easily portable 3) Having him at my place isn't an option at all (so says the wife), and I don't work out of a studio 4) the editor and I live 40 miles apart

How do I tell the director that I feel the editor and I can just communicate via Skype?

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What I sent to the director and editor: I'm concerned that isn't the best use of what little time we have left. [Editor] has quite a bit more sound experience than I do, to be honest -- if you and he could list out the specific stuff that needs to sound the way you want it to, perhaps he could work on that and I can work on everything else, and the music. That way, we're both working with software and gear we both know, and the "second set of ears" can be used to work on half the sound design. And, while we're doing that, we can FTP our mixes back and forth and discuss the mix via Skype/IM. –  Dave Matney Sep 30 '11 at 23:24

3 Answers 3

Try suggesting that the picture editor handles all of the "key" moments or "signature" sounds that the director is most concerned with, while you handle the duties of general hard fx, backgrounds, etc. Once the director has signed off on those items in the edit room, have the picture editor FTP the finalized fx to you to incorporate into your mix session and then complete the final mix. Send it back to them for review and notes, etc. This way, you can accommodate the director's wishes, communicate via Skype, etc., and even lighten your load a little since the deadline is close and you don't have as much time as you had budgeted for.

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Diplomacy is what you will need to employ!!! And lots of it. Be polite, remain professional but explain exactly what you have explained in your post - i.e. it will be less productive to work with him alongside and that you would prefer to send edits and discuss them over skype.

As with any differences of opinion, it's vital to remain professional and to negotiate a solution...

Good luck!

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I think that what both Colin and Jay have said is very good advice and i have nothing to add to their points. I can only say that i have been in similar situations and there's always a way to get things done, just keep communicating reasonably.
Good luck, keep faith and stay cool.

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