Tag Archives: Curtin Productions

And another new release: Hounds of Love

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Hounds of Love, now playing in cinemas across Australia, was written and directed by Ben Young and is his first feature film. After premiering at the Venice Film Festival, the film has propelled Ben’s career onto the world stage, and he is already directing big-budget American movie Extinction.

The film has had great reviews all over the world, including 4 out of 5 stars from Australia’s leading film critic, David Stratton. This is not a film for everyone but, as one critic said, ‘brave audiences will be rewarded’.

My role on the film was the sound design and mix. As the subject matter is very confronting, the film was a great sound challenge. Much of the action is implied rather than on the screen., and the film relies on the soundtrack to tell the story.

For the house backgrounds, I used all natural sounds—cars, birds, etc.—so that the atmosphere feels ‘normal’. This changes as the camera moves into the room where the girl is held: I shut down all the natural sounds and used low room tones to make it feel tense and isolated.

Planes play a role in the soundtrack. We wanted it to feel that the girl was not too far from home, where planes are heard all the time. I also used the sound of a jet, rather than music, as a tension device in a key scene towards the end of the film.

As there are a lot of screams in the film, much work went into ensuring that they didn’t feel repetitive.

The foley was done by John Simpson of FeetnFrames, who did a masterful job on the chains used to restrain the girl. The actors all walk around the house in bare feet, and so to make it more menacing, I asked John to re-create the footsteps by walking on creaky floorboards, especially in the hall approaching the bedroom.

By the time I got to do the final mix with Ben, I had become desensitised to the shock elements of the film to the extent that I could concentrate on getting each scene as tense or as light as required. We had a lot of fun trying all sorts of elements to see what felt right. Having watched the responses of film audiences since it was released, I think we got it pretty right.

 

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Hotel Coolgardie has opened to great critical acclaim; see David Stratton’s review.

More on Hotel Coolgardie in the next post.

 

 

 

I have also just finished work on a film by Ben Elton called Three Summers—a fun romantic comedy, very different from the experience of working on Hounds of Love!

 

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Four New Releases…part 2

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I am glad to report that both recently completed TV series, Railroad Australia on Discovery and Outback Pilots on 7 mate, are rating well. Fingers crossed for a new series of both.

WHITELEY_A4 Poster.jpgThe feature documentary Whiteley has been playing to great reviews. Margaret Pomeranz gave the film her first ever 5-star review on Foxtel Arts.

Whiteley was directed by James Bogle and edited by Lawrie Silvestrin.  The documentary does not have a narrator; instead the story is told through archival footage and re-enactments. We recorded actors reading contemporary newspaper articles and then played the voices coming out of radios, matching the quality to archival sound—something of a challenge.

See the trailer.

Ash Gibson Greig composed the music for the documentary, weaving his music around the music of the time. The soundtrack was complicated, so Ash moved his music suite into my studio for the days of the final mix. This gave us the opportunity to tweak the music mix right up to the last moment.

John Simpson of FeetnFrames did his usual great job on the foley, bringing to life the re-enactments and the painting scenes, which were all shot without sound. He managed to bring even the brush strokes to life, making you feel you were at the painter’s side.

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This is the outside of Luna Cinemas in Leederville, and I’m happy to say I was the sound designer and mixer on four of these films—Hounds of Love, Whiteley, Bad Girl and Hotel Coolgardie. What a buzz to have all four playing at the same time.

Coming soon, news on Hotel Coolgardie and Hounds of Love.

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