Final Reflection: Sound Replacement Project – Back to the Future

Well we got there. What an eye opening and enjoyable project this turned out to be! We ran to plan, our communication and teamwork was seamless and whilst we did encounter unforeseen problems, we were able to overcome them efficiently. Here is the finished product; the first 1.31m of the original Back to the Future movie with every sound recorded and replaced by Shay Jagger Mitchell, Dr Duck and myself:

The first surprise for me personally was just how many sounds were actually contained within this short clip. Having never really critically listened to a piece of film before, I had not noticed just how much audio is required to recreate a scene so that the viewer believes they are actually there. This became painfully evident as we began our journey by creating an audio asset list for the sounds we would need to record and place into the clip. Step two was to decide what items were needed to create these sounds and the best was to record them. Having access to the C24 Foley studio was a boon for us as its design allowed us to get the best out of our recording efforts.

For this final reflection on our Sound Replacement Project we decided to record a video blog to talk through our successes and challenges throughout this journey. You can view this below:

What went well:

  • Our Pre-Production Planning was solid and only required minimal amendment throughout the project. Each 8hr session was planned thoroughly.
  • Our communication and each member’s dedication to the task was exemplary
  • Our skill sets were complimentary
  • We acted immediately and positively to all feedback
  • We learned how to create a ‘Shepherd Tone‘.

What we learned:

  • Our initial workflow was inferior and we needed to work smarter to achieve our goals. This became clear upon ‘losing’ some clips in our session. Of course ‘Pro Tools’ retains all clips stored in the background, but the time it took us to find what we had lost in the multitude of sounds we had recorded, was time lost.
  • We had some data workflow issue culminating in replacing an old session over 4hrs work just completed due to not operating from the desktop but direct from the hardrive.
  • Reverb considerations and correct location sourcing is a key element when doing a sound replacement project.

Overall however we as a team were very happy with the result of our first sound replacement project. The mistakes we made have been crucial to our learning experience and will prove invaluable for our future endeavors. When we were working on this project we came across a similar clip that had been completed on the same scene by some students in the USA, so I sought feedback from their lecturer who had posted their completed work on You Tube. His response was positive which was pleasing and a screen shot of his response appears below:Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.44.32 am

So concludes my final reflection on our sound replacement project. I will leave you with a short scene from one of the most enjoyable parts of our Foley journey; making a mess!!! If you would like to read about our experience in more detail, please visit the additional blog links below the video…

Sound Replacement Project Reflection: Recording Session One

Sound Replacement Project Reflection: Recording Session Two

Sound Replacement Project Reflection: Recording Session Three




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