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Executing a Voiceover: Video Post-Production

Written by Chuck Jurich
February 17, 2011

Post-production work includes video and sound editing (see related links below). Here, a trio of kids are executing voice overdubs for the student production “The Haunted School.” In this video, all of the sound had been done in post-production, our first production to pull off this feat.

In the clip, one of the main actors has been asked to come in for the second time to perform a few more lines that have been either missed or needed to be redone. He is antsy to return to other tasks and gets a bit silly. The editor, exercising her power, refocuses him to the task and is able to get three takes of him. Each take seems to be fairly similar but there are technical concerns that have to be addressed as well– recording levels (too loud, too soft), timing and synchronicity with the video, starting and stopping the recording. The editor plays back the sounds to verify they are recorded and makes a basic placement of the clip. Getting the actor to return (and settle down) proves to be a difficult job and the editor thinks its best to get all of his overdubs done now. 

What makes sound editing so difficult is solving the myriad of problems that come up when negotiating between technological issues and human needs. The editor needs a quiet space to record, thus, she wheeled her computer to the classroom next door away from the other kids who are busily (and noisily) working. She needs to be able to quickly cue up the editing software to record actors while they wait patiently, or in this case, impatiently. The editor, like a director, needs to communicate what she needs from the actors– faster, louder, softer, more expression– and be able to identify quickly if she got it. She has to be ready when the actor is ready and be sensitive to the fact that no human wants to repeat the same phrase over and over endlessly. 

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