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Scrapping Scripts and Audio Woes

I'm getting really close to having a "final" draft of MathTacular2 done. As I was nearing the end of one of the final activities I came across this line: Subtract the larger number from the smaller number... 6 minus 4 is 2!

I double checked the script. Yep, that's what it said (If you're confused as to what is wrong with that, don't worry, I didn't catch it until I was building the Title Card for the equation). I showed the problem to my writer/director. She looked at me and said, "That's what you get when you're rushing through pre-production. I probably wrote that in three seconds."

She's absolutely right. This was a quick scene added after it was decided to split MathTacular2 into 2&3, and was shot during MathTacular4. It's not her fault. There were three intelligent people (including me) on set who heard the actor (also an intelligent guy) read the line at least three times. Did any of us catch it? Nope.

So now what? What do you do with a line that is wrong, the actor is gone, and the project needs to be done in the next week or so?

I've heard of sound guys who can take individual sounds from words an actor says to make up new words. That would be awesome, but I can't do that. It was suggested that I merely flop the words around: Subtract the "smaller" number from the "larger". That would work, but the voice inflection is way off and sounds positively ridiculous. Besides, it doesn't match the lip motion.

This is one of those moments in Post where you can't just "fix it". So, honestly, on a Friday night, I don't know how I'm going to fix this problem. That's one of the joys of being an editor... you get to figure out how to fix the problems. It's a very creative and technical job that, if you do it right, no one will even know you did anything.

My plan, for the moment, is to bring in some audio recording equipment on Monday and try to voice match the actor myself with the proper inflection.

Here's hoping.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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