• Victoria Altern

Documentary Sound Production

In a team of 3, we were asked to do post-production for a documentary called No Roads To Health. This meant researching different ways in which sound designer contributes to an overall cathartic experience for the viewer in order to create an impactful experience.

Documentary is, more than usual, dependant on sound. The dialogue has to be immaculate and this came with many challenges as it was not scripted and was set in the vast landscape of PauPau New Guinea. It's a very heartwarming documentary about doctors offering their skills to help those in serious need.

We had some challenges, like taking out lots of noise in some scenes that the dialogue wasn't very clear in. With amazing plugins that really fast track the way post-production is done nowadays, it wasn't hard to achieve what we wanted. The trick with documentary is to really enhance the emotion as much as possible with sound, so using subtle but purposeful composition which in this case was provided to us and worked amazingly because it brought out the 'hopefulness' in a very dark topic. We had to work on getting the dialogue to sound clear and upfront by using automation. We also worked with the sound before and after it to 'introduce' when someone was going to talk , this proved to be really effective. This basically meant attenuating the amplitude a few seconds before the dialogue and then bringing it back up afterwards. A bit like highlighting an important sentence in a text book.

I was booming on a set and couldn't be there for a lot of the work, I felt I should have contributed more to this than I could have but I helped with the dialogue editing and gain structure. I also helped with a bit of mixing here and there and helped to pick up the pace so we were done in time.

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