Tag Archives: Whiteley

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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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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Four New Releases…part 1

In the next two weeks I have a feature film, a feature documentary and two TV series being released.

Bad Girl is a feature film that was shot in Perth. After being edited in Sydney by Simon Njoo, the rest of the post production was done in Perth, with Sandbox creating the visual effects and grading the pictures and Curtin Productions doing the sound.

One of the big challenges on the film was the music. We were fortunate to have Warren Ellis, of Bad Seeds fame, as composer. Rather than compose to the picture cut, he created themes that the director, Fin Edquist, and I would then manipulate, remixing the stems and editing the music around to fit the picture. It was a fun challenge, and in meeting it I relied heavily on my many years of experience as a music engineer.

I was the dialogue editor as well as the mixer for the film. A lot of the action took place in a family house—a big open-plan living area with all hard surfaces and glass down one side—so it was very reverberant. I removed most of the location sound, except the dialogue, and replaced all the moves with foley to try and control the scenes. The foley was done by John Simpson from Feet’n’Frames.

Bad Girl is showing now at the Luna Leederville.


Trailer for Bad Girl


More news soon on the feature documentary Whiteley.


Trailer for Whiteley


The two recently completed TV series are Railroad Australia on Discovery and Outback Pilots on 7 mate.

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