Tag Archives: Film mixing

And the winner is…


I was thrilled to be awarded (along with sound team Lawrie Silvestrin and John Simpson) an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for the best sound in a documentary for WhiteleyFor those outside Australia, an AACTA award is our equivalent of a British BAFTA or American Oscar.

untitledNot only did the feature documentary Whiteley pick up the sound award; it also won best composer Ash Gibson Greig, best editor Lawrie Silvestrin and best director James Bogle. So, as you can imagine, it was a very happy table and we partied well into the night.

The documentary,  produced by Northern Pictures, is the story of Australia’s iconic artist Brett Whiteley, told ‘in his own words’ using personal letters, notebooks and photographs, interwoven with reconstructions, animations, archival interviews and rare footage.

The documentary was quite a challenge, as there is no narrator to link the story together. We used actors to read press stories and letters and melded those voices into the actual archive footage. After working very hard to clean up the archival sound, I then had to take the pristine recorded voices of the actors and grunge them up so that they matched. Some also had to be playing out of old radios and TVs of the time. We had an actor reading Brett’s writings, and this voice, too, had to be matched to the archive.

DSCN4669Because of the complexity of the edit, it ran well over schedule, and the film already had its cinema release dates, so it transpired that I had only three days to do the final mix on the 90-minute film. As I always want tweaks to the music in the mix stage, Ash moved his whole studio into my mix suite, which allowed us to add and change little bits as we went.

The day before the awards, I took part in a ‘Meet the Nominees’ panel. It was a buzz to meet up with the other panellists: Stephen Smith (Wake in Fright), Robert MacKenzie (Lion), David White (Blue) and Cate Cahill (Killing Ground). Nigel Christensen did a great job as the moderator. You can see the panel here (my bit starts at 34 minutes).

It is always said that filmmaking is a collaborative endeavour, so it is fantastic when the work of the whole team is recognised.



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Farewell to 2014—a great year

2014 was a year to remember for me, book-ended by two national sound awards.

The year began with an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) award for Best Sound in a Documentary for Desert War: Episode 1 ‘Tobruk’. Desert War was produced by Electric Pictures and was aired by ABC TV, BBC2 and BBC Scotland.

Desert War is the account of the siege of Tobruk, told by the people who were there and portrayed through historical re-enactments. Mixing the re-enacted war scenes was one of the greatest challenges of the project.

The sound team also included Glenn Martin, Ash Gibson Greig, Ash Charlton and Chris Bollard.

Ash Charlton, Glenn Martin, Ash Gibson Greig, Ric Curtin

Ash Charlton, Glenn Martin, Ash Gibson Greig, Ric Curtin

The year was capped off with the 2014 Australian Screen Sound Guild award for Best Sound in a Documentary for The Search for the Ocean’s Super Predator. Produced by Sea Dog TV International, this documentary was aired by ABC TV, National Geographic Channel Europe, NHK, TVNZ, Al Rayyan TV and Smithsonian Channel.

In The Search for the Ocean’s Super Predator, a super predator’s underwater attack leads investigators to a mysterious natural phenomenon that attracts the ocean’s most fearsome predators. The dialogue was a particular challenge, as much the program was shot on a working boat, in windy conditions. All of the underwater sound was replaced, and the documentary was mixed in 5.1 surround. You can view the full program here.

The sound team also included Glenn Martin, Ash Charlton and Steve Trowbridge.

Both projects were dialogue edited and mixed using Pyramix, Tango, Horus and Frank Hinton’s Grover Notting Code 4 speakers.

It was a privilege to work on these excellent projects, and congratulations must go to the production companies and to my colleagues.





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