Recording Voiceover at Todd A-O
I have to tell you all about my Saturday night. I was lucky enough to be asked by John Baumgartner, one of my directors on Space Hospital, to do a voiceover for an animatic of his new film called Midnight Sun. When he asked me to do it, he told me it was going to be at a place called Todd-AO and that I'd like it as they have free cocoa. I said yes, and asked David if he'd heard of it. He almost lost his mind at me. "TODD-AO??? HAVE I HEARD OF TODD-AO?? THAT'S LIKE ASKING IF I'VE HEARD OF CARNEGIE HALL!!!!!"
So I was promptly educated by my husband that Todd-AO is a world-class sound recording/mixing studio home to multiple academy award winning sound designers and filled with the best equipment and the best engineers. Even better! I asked John if hubby could come along and pant at the big pretty mics and mixing desks and he kindly obliged.
Friends, it was SO MUCH FUN! I got to scream and yell and scream some more for this animatic (which I won't divulge much about but it looks really awesome). In case you don't know what an animatic is, from Wikipedia:
In animation and special effects work, the storyboarding stage may be followed by simplified mock-ups called "animatics" to give a better idea of how the scene will look and feel with motion and timing. At its simplest, an animatic is a series of still images edited together and displayed in sequence. More commonly, a rough dialogue and/or rough sound track is added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.
Everyone was extremely nice and accomodating and we got to have a tour of the place afterwards. It was fantastic. The great part was that we got to record in the foley stage (pictured below), so the room was lined with hundreds of sound-making props and accessories and piles of dirt and the like, probably used for untold films I've seen. I learned that twisting celery stalks make for excellent simulation of footsteps in wooded areas.
David simulating composure.
Not so composed.
With John, the director.
Imagining what kind of sound you'd make when shot in the back is more challenging than you think.