Have you ever wondered how the dialogue in movies sounds to clear crisp? I mean you watch characters on a train or in the market place, conversing and you can hear them clearly. How about musicals? You watch a character or two singing so well in the movie. You know in reality they might sound okay, but not as great as they sound in the movie. Yes, it’s no magic. They often use a technique called ADR [Automatic/Automated Dialogue Replacement]. And there is nothing automatic about this process, you have to put in the work.
ADR is the process of replacing the dialogue recorded on set with one recorded in the studio. The typical way of achieving this is by looping the section that needs replacement and have the act try many times before picking the best take. There are also two ways of looping, namely audio looping or visual looping (Hibbard, 2014). As the name implies, the visual is either kept in a loop or the audio. According to Hibbard “Audio looping will typically produce the most desirable results, however, it is usually much more time extensive”. There are a couple of reasons that this process is applied. In the video below a good number of these reasons are mentioned.
However, one reason that wasn’t necessarily mentioned is that it is also used for educational purposes as we did in our project. So our aim for this project was to recreate a two minutes clip from a movie. The Movie in question was The Watchmen and the scene we recreated using ADR was the birth of Dr Manhattan as seen in the video clip below.
The video below is a two min clip we recreated from the video above. We were a team of four students. Kiran was in charge of the score for the two-minute clip. Vasi was in charge of getting the Foley and sound effects in place. Raihan was the voice of Dr Manhattan; I recorded the dialogue for the newscaster and the father’s scene at the start of the clip. We had the help of my friend Jay to voice the father and the newscaster.
The method of recording we used was the audio looping, where we had multiple clips of what we needed to record and have several takes of it before choosing the best take. It was an exciting experience and we are happy about the final outcome. I hope you enjoy and like it too.
Film Box Entertainment. (2019, October 14). The birth of Dr Manhattan Scene | Watchmen (2009) Movie Clip [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/4iLmCTziuNc
Hibbard, M. (2014, May 30). ADR; automated dialogue replacement tips and tricks [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/adr-automated-dialogue-replacement-tips-and-tricks/
John P. Hess [Filmmaker IQ]. (2014, October 28). Introduction to automated dialogue replacement(ADR)[videi file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/lP_673W270Y