Sunday, November 3, 2013

Adventure in Warner Brothers Studios!!

Last Friday at the break of dawn, team UCI sound carpooled up the treacherous 405 freeway to Burbank, California to tour the Warner Brothers Foley studio!  Mary Jo Lang is a former UCI alum and  a world-class Foley mixer who has been in the industry for 30 years and has developed a hugely impressive resume.  Even in the midst of the busy season, she kindly invited us to tour the Warner Brothers Foley stage - a place at which she works frequently.  She and her team, who included veteran Foley artists Alyson Moore and John Roesch, walked us through their process, talked about their careers, and  showed us the beautiful facility which housed everything from sea shells to tide pools.  Armed with shotgun microphones and Pro Tools, there didn't seem to be anything this team couldn't create.  We talked about the acting and performance aspect of Foley.  Did you know that there are only about 400 people in the world that do this work?  The team estimated that about 45 of them are always active.

The fun didn't end here.  We were in for quite the afternoon.  Bob Beresh, Post Production manager at Warner Brothers, surprised us with an expanded tour that started in a Warner Brothers dub stage, where Matthew Iadarola and his team were over over-dubbing Japanese dialogue stems for a major motion picture currently in theaters.  We attended for about a 15-minute session where translators were verifying the dialogue integration while Matt and his team were critically listening for mix accuracy.  What a treat it was to be a part of this process.

We moved to another dub stage and a completely different kind of Japanese film, where the mixer was gracious enough to share with us bits of his mixing process his career.

We were then able to sneak a quiet peek at a scoring stage where the Bond Quartet was recording some music with legendary composer Michael Giacchino.  Although we didn't meet the artists, just being in the room marveling at the acoustics and the equipment was enough to get us all excited.

We ended our day back at the Foley stage where Mary Jo Lang and the Foley team showed us about 5 minutes of sound that they had just created for a DreamWorks short, using everything from a wok to a wet chamois.

We left Warner Brothers feeling awestruck, energized, and inspired.  It's great to be a part of a program that creates these kinds of opportunities for its students.

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