Hi everyone. I am hoping for some feedback on a work that I am in the last stage of completing. It is a sound replacement clip from Star Trek, the Future Begins. I am interested in opinions and ideas for rounding off the project. Thanks in advance for assisting me, all comments are appreciated here.
Chris nice effort. The music really fits the trailer which helps it a lot. There are a few ADR clips missing on the opening fall from the ship which I noticed (mouths moving but no sound).
The fight scenes do sound good (punches and gun clatters) but I think the foot steps and clothing movement need to be brought higher into the mix as it feels dead between the action. Your wind sounds from the parachutes sound great. I would try and overlay some more beefy fire when the flames burst, especially when the guy gets toasted as you can't really hear much of a burning noise.
Adding a few of the elements above would definitely help it in my opinion, very good attempt though enjoyed it.
:WARNING: This could be considered an in-depth audio review :WARNING:
Hey Chris - from the beginning - I tried to get out of audio mode before watching to give you a strict "from audience" perspective (Its really hard for me to do this - as it is for a lot of sound designers). However, I will say "design" after a comment to distinguish my opinion or what I would have tried, but not necessarily left in on mix for a sound designers perspective.
It starts off very strong, great transition from loud latch open to music and quiet. At first I wanted to hear a deeper sound from them wooshing by the camera, design, but it could be argued you didnt need much because they are still in space. It is quite sonically calm while they are speeding down towards the atmosphere, which I think is great to give dynamics to the mix for the action that is about to come. And the calmness works well with the music.
Once they hit the atmosphere, I hear what I would guess is an air compressor going off encircled by some digital suit bleeps. While I may be guessing the source of the sound being the entry to the earths atmosphere and the suit adjusting to the difference in environment, this is slightly confusing of a conceptual sound if this is indeed what it was for since there is no visual reinforcement of the sound (like some kind of flame around them or barrier being broken), design. I loved the silence then woosh as they get closer to the bottom of the drill. Again, another one of those examples of making the coming event bigger and more action packed if pre-ceded by silence.
First reaction of the dialog in the suit - pretty neat! Many types of processing on voices sells the fact that the subject is not out in the open, and I think yours works. But just my opinion, the performance of the actors seemed a bit laid back, especially if you are hurdling at hundreds of miles per hour towards the surface of a planet exposed to forces that would make my stomach fly out my behind. When the performance lacks, the film as a whole hurts. I would have them do a more adrenaline fueled performance, and even if they go way dynamic on you, just slap a compressor on it and you should be fine. Throw in some heavy breathing and some stress/force emotional huffs and puffs and you should sell the ADR quite a bit more. "Effort" sounds keeps the audience connected with the characters on a more emotional level, playing off of the characters present state of stress.
Sweet parachute noises! I wanted to hear a yank on the guy in the blue suit - I just heard the chute go off. Red suit is almost silent when he flys by the 2 others - making his entrance into being the subject of the film for the next 15 seconds a bit lacking. The dialog is very very relaxed during this escalating emotional stressed moment - this does not build the correct tension for the audience in your current version. I loved the scream, but wanted more as he is tumbling on and off and into the flame. Or at least a knock-out "oof" to show he's unconscious if no scream before getting sucked into the flame. I would have added a subliminal sucking noise to give more to the "mini-story" of him getting sucked into the flame. Which by the way I think the sound for is awesome - something that powerful has to be tackled sonically very strategically as having too much presence in fire audio can take up a lot of of the sonic spectrum, masking much of everything else - I think you handled the visual very well with the audio you used for it.
I loved blue suits (kirk if I am correct) landing onto the drill. It was great and I felt like I was on the platform while he landed. It does sound like his glove may be out of sync with the metal grab, and a bit white noisy for my ear, design.
Again, great with the chutes, the sucking back into the pack was friggin' awesome. The hatch open and humanoid alien voice is menacing, fitting audio for sure. His voice was a bit loud though in the mix, design. Bad ass laser gun and chute destruction, great design. Once again lacking in performance with the yellow suit actor as there is no sort of panicked dialog as he has now lost control of his chute - theres no way of knowing his in distress.
On kirks punching alien scenes - I heard kirk punch him with an effort sound, and then get punched with an effort sound. This felt a bit out of place, design. Another option being, having kirks effort throwing a punch and alien oof as he gets hit, then come back with a menacing alien effort and punch and a clear gun getting knocked out of hand sound - make it sound like this alien really has the physical upper hand now. I will admit fight scenes are tricky to get them to flow right. I also heard a couple repeated hits of audio in a row, design.
On wide shot of yellow repelling back up to the platform you hear his chute clearly but lose detail on the fight on the right - maybe have a couple efforts and hits on the right low volume, and turn the chute volume down and pan to the left. Spread the chaos across the sonic image, and let the collective audio build the volume - design.
Awesome with the sword. It really sounded like it was flipping out and locking into place - The axe was a bit confusing as I didnt hear any metallic reinforcement to tag with the axe's headpiece finish snapping together. Dont be too conservative with the volume of your martial arts impact audio - you dont want to have their kick to the chests sounding less meaningful in a fight scene, design. Maybe a quick alien "arg" or "oh no" (not literally oh no but you know what I mean) effort as he gets vaporized by the fire, but definitely just a design opinion.
Stab into chest is cool, then the aliens pain effort goes digital - this would have to be reinforced by storyline if they were indeed some kind of robotic or vocally digital beings, but I cant remember the alien race well enough from when I watched the movie.
I loved the body fall off and woosh sound it made falling past kirk, but then it kept repeating. If this is not the woosh of the body falling past kirk, and some other sound, then it syncs with his fall/disappearance off camera and could confuse the audience as to what exactly this sound is emitting from. This sound continues on into the next scene as well, which is equally as confusing.
I hear them ready their guns and the audio is very present, then they unload their shots into the drill and the sound is quiet - just a mix design opinion.
Very cool snippet, and your coverage was pretty thorough. Definite thought put into the sound and music. Very good practice and experience by doing this piece. I enjoyed it. Grab some more enthusiastic actors next time - and you have a few mix issues. Good job though. Hope this helps, and remember its just an opinion!
Great choice of a clip, Chris. Lots of stuff going on here. I think the sound of the dialogue at the start was a bit too reverberant. I would suggest creating the sound of them whooshing down to the platform and let the dialogue cut through that big sound while still sounding as if it were going through radio speakers. Your current filter for the dialogue works, I just think its as if they're talking in a big room when it's just a helmet. Great gun blasts! Perhaps the sound of parachute tearing should be heard a bit more as Kirk's chute gets shot up. At some points, your steady background drops out unexpectedly. Just before Sulu does his flip to engage that Romulan. Before then, you had a wooshing sound that died out as well.
Otherwise, I thought it was a good effort!
Thanks everybody. Great responses and very helpful. It is important to point out how the actor talent is important. I will have to watch the movie to get exactly what the characters are saying during free fall. @C3sound, the deep whooshing as the cross the camera seems like a good idea. You are the first person to remark about that, everybody else that remarked about improving the parts where they fly past the camera suggested that I add a high frequency sound. The entering the atmosphere bleeps will probably go. At first they were added because I did not have any dialogue yet for those scenes and there was a missing element. The background does drop out unexpectedly sometimes at the end. That was an experiment and I figured correctly that a professional would pick up on it. There are some mixing fixes as well. Thanks for taking a look at my clip.