Transcription: 0371 - Peter Albrechtsen and David Barber

Released: December 26, 2021

Darwin: Okay. Today I have the great opportunity to speak to some people that ... Actually they had a PR person reach out to me and a lot of times, I don't pay close attention but this one looked weird, and so I did a little digging and it was weird enough for me to actually light up my radar.

The people I'm talking to is Peter Albrechtsen and David Barber. They worked together on a Robert Machoian movie called The Killing Of Two Lovers, a 2020 movie. It was really unique, if you haven't gotten a chance to see it ... I hadn't heard of it until this reach-out and then I watched it and I've been introducing my friends to it as well. It's really interesting. It has some really unique aspects to it that really made me want to talk to these two folks.

With no further ado, let's say hi to Peter and David. Hey, all. How you doing?

David: Hi, Darwin. Thank you for having us.

Peter: Hi. Yeah. Thank you.

Darwin: Yeah. My pleasure. Let's start off, first of all, by talking about this movie a little bit. I was shocked mainly because it's very seldom that I listen to a movie that has no score. There was no soundtrack to it. Other than, on a rare occasion, generally when the protagonist was getting too stressed out, all of a sudden there was some very serious and angry sound design work that came in. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got drawn into the project and what your perspective is of the work? Peter, I'm going to ask you to start with that.

Peter: I worked on the Robert Machoian's previous feature film, When She Runs. That was really such a great experience. It inspired Robert to, for his process on The Killing of Two Lovers, to really integrate sound as a very big part of the storytelling. He wrote me saying, "Peter, I've been writing this new script, The Killing of Two Lovers but I think I can only do this film if you do the sound."

I mean, that's quite a pressure but it's also a way of saying how much Robert is into sound and how he really, really wants to explore sound in the way that he tells stories. That meant that from the very beginning of the process, sound was an integrated part of how Robert was telling the story and how he was thinking of the story.

Robert, when he shot the film and afterwards when he edited the film, when he directed the actors, he was constantly thinking of what sound could do and that really means that, for us as sound people, it opens up this amazing creative potential in the storytelling for using sound. Robert wanted the sound to really be the inner voice of the main character of the film. It's important to say that the film is a family drama about a main character David and his wife. They split up but are trying to find a way of being a family together with their kids and that kind of story usually ... That kind of family drama, 99% of all those kind of movies would be filled with music.

At least have a lot of emotional strings playing most of the time telling you that you need to cry now. Robert was really interested in doing the exact opposite of that. He wanted the sound to tell the inner story of David but also to open up the film for being much more something that you interpret in your own personal way. For me, that makes the whole thing more emotional actually because it really becomes so much about your own experience and when you're not told what to feel, there's room in the film for you to really reflect on both what the characters are doing but also on yourself in a way.

It becomes a very special and different experience when there's no music to guide your emotions. At the same time, on a creative level, Robert really wanted to explore like, "Okay, what can we do with any part of the soundtrack? What can we do with how the dialog sound? What can we do with how the background sounds in this small town where the film takes place? How can we be creative about that? How can we create an inner voice for the main character through sound?"

It was a very, very creative experience and we really kept on like exploring sonic possibilities until the very last day of the mix. I'm based in Copenhagen, Denmark, so a lot of the sound work was sending files back and forth but then Robert came over for a week during those three months where the sound editing was going on. Then at the end, we met in LA with Dave for the final mix, which was a little more than a week. Then Dave had been working before that for the mixing of the dialog.

We had that really, really creative week in LA at the end but, in that sense, it was also kind of a creative process where things were just constantly evolving and Robert is the kind of director who directs the people on his crew in the same way as he directs actors, so that instead of saying, "You need to do it exactly like this" or exactly like that, then he talks about the emotions of the scene and that inspires me and Dave to be very creative in the way that we use sound to tell the inner stories of the characters.

Darwin: Sure. Peter, you primarily did sound design and David, you were the re-recording mixer, right?

David: Peter and I were both re-recording mixers and I handled the dialog, what little ADR we had, and the foley. Peter handled the design effects and ambiances.

Darwin: Okay. This helps me because one of the things that just watching the movie ... Even 15 minutes into it, I was blown away because when you strip a soundtrack and a score away from a movie, all of a sudden, everything else becomes so critically important. As I listened to what was going on, it was really clear that there was two issues or three issues you had to deal with, obviously, making the dialog work was there but also the interweaving of the foley. It was remarkable. I grew up in rural America and also I've lived in western rural America, which is kind of the setting that this was at, and the sound, the place sound was like eerily familiar to me, right?

It was more than just like the sound of the wind or whatever. It was the sound of a pickup truck, the sound of doors slamming. You know? The sound of kids in the distance in a place that doesn't have a lot of trees, right? These kinds of things are actually really ... Just really very familiar and this is clearly part of the sound design of the film. The foley wasn't just there to make it so when someone walked, you could hear their steps. It was also very much woven into this idea of the soundtrack actually being this combination of sound design and foley, right?

David: Correct. Well, the foley artist on the show was Heikki Kossi, who was fantastic. He's a world renowned foley artist and working with his stuff makes my job very easy because it's so well recorded and it's so well performed and it really matched environment to environment, from scene to scene, sonically, textually, and the performance of it just was very easy to blend in with the production sound.

That's what, ultimately, you want is just to be able to have it work with your production sound without being noticed or without having to do a lot of treatments to make something that was recorded in a dry studio sound like it's outside or in an auditorium or in a small bedroom. A lot of that work was really brilliantly done ahead of time by the entire foley team.

How that worked into the organic ... That's the kind of stuff that kept the movie ... For me, it kept it grounded. Peter and I have talked about this a bit where on the dialog, production sound and foley, my job was the earthiness, the realness of the film and Peter's to a degree also on the backgrounds, although he took some liberties that you'll never know about because there's things happening in those ambiances that are so subtle and textural you don't know is that a real sound? Is that organic to that environment? Is that something that's been injected to subvert our feelings to a degree? He can talk more about some of those elements that he brought into the ambiances.

But yes, the dialog was a challenge and the foley ... The dialog was a challenge insofar as on most independent films, a lot of things are very run and gun, catch as catch can, and you deal with those anomalies and artifacts and you try to work them out without upsetting the vocal quality or just the organic nature of the recording. That was part of the challenge and then, again, just with the way the foley was recorded and performed ...

The one thing that I saw when they sent me the film originally before it had any of the treatment, any of the foley recorded, there's a scene where David is just out doing odd jobs around the town, how you would make a living in a very, very small town like this, and he's wrapping up bales of ... It's either chicken wire or some fencing or something. Then he has to bounce the entire thing two or three times to get enough momentum to toss it into the back of his truck.

I saw that and my first thought was, "Oh, please, God, I hope they recorded that sound on set because how do you recreate something that genuine and that authentic?" When the foley was sent over and I heard the recording and the performance of what they did for it ... I was grinning ear to ear on that one because there's things that you see when you go through a film without the sound with only production sound or a very early cut of it. You can see these little, on the foley and on the sound effects side, little roadblocks or speed bumps that you go, "That is going to be a challenge. That's going to be really a difficult one to tie to the environment, to get the sound right for that particular element."

There was a few of those and then every time I got to the foley that was performing that particular item, it just put a smile on my face. It was really a lot of fun to work with all of that.

Darwin: That's really cool. It sounds like an exceptional experience to be working on this for both of you. I wanted to talk a little bit more of some of the details but before we do that, one of the things I like doing in my podcast is talking to people about their background and how they got to be the artist they are.

In both your cases, you're doing some very particular and very interesting work but in neither case do I understand how you get to be the person that does it. I'm curious ... David, let's start with you. Tell me a little bit about what your background is, how you got into film music, maybe who were some people that helped you along the way.

David: I've been playing music since I was a child. I did the obligatory piano lessons I think at four, five, six years old. The jazz band came and played my elementary school and then I got hooked on woodwinds. I became a saxophone player at that point. Then in high school, my junior year, we had a ... They needed a bass player to fill out the rhythm section in the jazz band and we had two jazz bands and I wasn't going to be able to move up to the A jazz band until I was a senior, as a saxophonist. They said, "Do you want to learn bass over the summer?" Then bass became my passion and I continued on with that through college.

David: I joined up with a singer/songwriter in college. Part of that experience, his name was Jeremy Kay and he was signed to Surfdog Records in California. We moved down to LA. We put out a few records and had some stuff in movies and TV shows but never got that big break that made it a living. When that timed out, one of the experiences that I had was working at Saban Entertainment in Westwood. Met quite a few people there and a good friend there steered me towards audio post, that kind of migrated my love of sound, my love of being in a studio, into the audio post world. Then I just went headlong into that and, by chance, found myself at Juniper Post in 2004 and then I've been there ever since.

Funny story for anybody that thinks it's too late to start, I didn't get there until I was 34. The career that I now call a living, I didn't start until my mid-thirties and I was hired there as an assistant/janitor in one of the ... A funny story was I think my second or third day on the job, we had an unfortunate toilet overflow in one of the main bathrooms and stuff, sewage had spilled out everywhere, into the carpet, up the thing, and I looked at the guy who had hired me and I said, "Who do we call for this?" He put his hand on my shoulder and handed me a mop. I went, "Wow. Okay."

Darwin: Welcome to the movie world, right?

David: Welcome to the movie world. Yeah. That was my first week on the job at my first post studio, and my only post studio because I'm still there. I went from a 34 year-old mop boy to re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor, and just kind of ... Said yes to everything. I put myself in positions at that job that I had no right to put myself in but it was just kind of, "Put me in, coach." I leapt first and looked later.

You know, I didn't do so stupidly but I certainly did so ignorantly. I had the confidence that I could figure it out or that I had the ability to do it but I didn't do it out of a wealth of knowledge of knowing what I was doing. I just did it out of a great desire to learn. I was given some opportunities and I just wanted to make the most of every single one that came my way.

Darwin: Sure. Normally, there's like some kind of story about "How I got that first break." I looked at your IMDB listing and I scrolled and I scrolled and I scrolled. It was a long time ago that you had your first break but I'm curious. What was the thing that ... Especially in dealing with anything related to movies and video, there's really a barrier to get in. What helped you get over that barrier?

David: Again, this is not a recommended route. I was working day jobs with music and just kind of touring up and down the coast and taking time off to tour around the country, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights where we'd drive up and down and play music. When I started to go to the audio post world, I was getting one of those many credit card things saying, "Take a loan out. Great interest rates", so on and so forth.

I ended up taking I think a $30,000 loan out against a credit card to buy equipment for myself so I bought the equipment, I bought Pro Tools, a computer, speakers, amps, all of that stuff. I paid off my truck and then I kept I think $10,000 or $12,000 to live on while I wasn't going to be having any income. I portioned out that particular loan to last ... I had timed it out to be I think six months to a year.

Hoping that during that time I would be generating some kind of income. I was answering website ... I believe it was where entertainment ... Very low budget. You know, "Do my sound job for $500" kind of jobs were popping up, so expectations were low but so was the pay but it was certainly a place to start cutting your teeth on these things. I was trying to meet with anybody that would let me into the studio to watch what they were doing.

One of those digital ads brought me to a guy that was going to make a monster movie that he never ended up finishing but he had walked me into Juniper Post as his mixer, saying, "This is the mixer. Can we use your facility?" and stuff. While he went into the other room, I looked at these guys and said, "Hey, you guys hiring, by the way?" They said no. At the time, I just walked away and went, "I gave it a shot" and then a week later, one of the things they were doing at the time was bulk M&Es - or music and effects tracks for films that didn't have them, so you had to cut and fill it in and so on.

They called back because they just got a full load coming in and they didn't have enough personnel to handle it. They called me back a week later and said, "Hey, did you get a job somewhere else yet?" I said, "No. I didn't." I said yes. I came up and three days after that, I had a mop in my hand. That was my kind of just circuitous route to get into audio post.

Darwin: Like so many audio post people I've talked to, which is being at the right place and being willing to say yes is just a really important thing. Peter, I'd like to hear your story. What is your background? How did you get to be a sound designer?

Peter: I think sound was a big part of my life from like my very childhood ... My dad has a story like from when I'm two years old and my dad was really into music, had this old quarter-inch tape recorder, had an enormous record collection with classical music and the Beatles. He was really into John Lennon's crazy sound experiments and a lot of modern classical music. He several times ...

He's told me the story of when I'm two years old, then he wakes up one night hearing the sound from the living room - wrup-wrup, wrup-wrup, wrup-wrup - and he's like, "Okay, what's going on in there?" He gets up and he walks into the living room and then I'm standing there in front of the quarter inch tape recorder and then dragging the tapes back and forth, so that you get this "wrup-wrup" sound. I was two years old, so I guess the fascination with sound and sound manipulation was something that was there from very early on.

My granddad built me a toy version of the quarter-inch tape recorder, so I didn't have to play around with the expensive equipment. Yeah. Sound and music was really there from the beginning. Then when I learned to switch on the TV, then I started watching a lot of movies and then in '95, when I attended this place called the European Film College, which is kind of like a film pre-school, which is based in Denmark but has a lot of international students. It's around 100 students but at least half of it is international.

That's really where I realized that my interest in music and sound and my interest in movies could kind of meet in the middle by doing sound for movies. It was really like a revelation. From then on, then I just ... I got into the Danish Film School and I spent four years there on the film school making a lot of crappy experiments, making a lot of bad sounds.

The great thing about going to film school is that you can do all of these mistakes and then learn from them. When I graduated, I held that, "Okay, now I'm actually ready to go into the world" and that's 20 years ago. I've been then working as a professional sound designer since then.

I mean, saying that I'm a professional sound designer, to me, it sounds so weird because, for me, I really don't feel very professional. I'm professional in the sense that I earn money, I get paid for this, somehow. At the same time, I feel like really I'm a kid in a candy store. I feel like this is a big playground. I feel like every new movie that I do is an adventure. I feel like I'm still learning every day or getting inspired and getting inspired by my collaborators, by the directors I meet, by the team I've got working with me on every film.

I feel that also because the creative process is something that, for me, is incredibly important, I feel that when you're making movies, it's really so much of a collaboration, you kind of create something together that you couldn't do individually. I feel that in that sense that it's very important to be surrounded by inspiring people and inspiring projects and I've been very privileged to work with a lot of filmmakers who really, really want to explore what you can do with sound and music in movies.

It's been an incredible journey these 20 years. It still feels like I'm just getting started somehow. I'm still thinking like often on projects because I'm also ... I find it so important to keep on experimenting and playing around with things. I mean, I'm still kind of like thinking, "Okay, when will they call me and say, 'Peter, now we've found a proper sound designer, not just someone who is there playing around with sound.'"

Darwin: The time for this foolishness is up, right?

Peter: Exactly. There's this kind of like ... This amazing saying by one of the great sound designers, Randy Thom he has this great saying, which is, "My ego comes pre-shrunk." I really love that because it's kind of like when you're in filmmaking, it's so much about collaboration. It's also so much about being yourself but at the same time, allowing openness for other ideas and communication and that's also why I think that this keeps on being exciting for me. It's like that you get so much new input all the time and you meet new people and meeting Dave, for example, since we did the Killing of Two Lovers, we've already done one more feature, one more short film, two short films?

David: Yeah.

Peter: A couple of extra smaller projects on top of that. There's this thing that you ... I mean, it's almost like you find people who you really connect with and it's almost like being a family kind of. You get this strong creative bond but also a close personal bond, which is, for me, very important in the creative process. I feel that often when people talk about sound or think about sound, they think about it in very technical terms. I'm very, very, very uninterested in technique. I'm often saying that I've never read a manual.

I feel that sometimes this whole thing about being so focused on the technical side, for me, the amazing thing with sound is that it's so emotional. Sound really hits us on a very emotional level where we're not really aware of it. It's a very subconscious thing. We are very conscious of what we see. I mean, we even call it watching a movie. We're not calling it hearing a movie.

It's so much about the visuality and seeing something. The great thing about that is that as a sound designer, there's so many possibilities for playing around with sound and really using sound as a very powerful emotional tool because you get affected by it so deeply as an audience. For me, the sounds that affect me the most are the most musical sounds. Sounds can be very musical without being music.

Sounds can be like ... I'm so happy when you're talking about the sounds of the small town in The Killing of Two Lovers. I spent so much time on just all of those tiny little details of putting in a little creek, putting in a little train passing, like a truck passing in the distance and a weird animal scream like 100 meters away. All these small, small textures, which really leaves an impression on your emotions without you being aware of it at all, consciously. I really, really love that part of working with sound that is so much about emotion.

Darwin: Well, that really leads into my question, one of my main questions about this movie, is in a way it was very difficult to tell where sound design ended and foley began or where foley ended and sound design began. It seemed like there was a very tight mesh between those two and I'm curious, what were the areas where you felt like "This is where I, as a sound designer, make my mark or support the film" as opposed to allowing just pure foley or even - where you say instead of a foley-like action for the sound of the gunshot in the field, maybe it's important to have a sound design effort behind this. How did you make those calls? How did you play that or deal with the interplay of your sound design with the foley work?

Peter: I think in many ways that sound design in a way is everything you hear. Instead of ... I mean, sometimes you hear sound design mentioned as something that is about big spaceships or big sound effects but I really feel that sound design, for me, is like when you think about every single sound you use and why you use them. For me, when doing something like The Killing of Two Lovers and the other movies that I work on, but The Killing of Two Lovers is very sound design on every level in a way. In some scenes, it's in a very quiet way, very, very subtle, very small, tiny sounds, small manipulations going on. In other scenes, it's very loud, present, powerful, harsh, intense, and the foley artist Heikki Kossi, who Dave already mentioned, is this ... I mean, he's really incredible.

I worked with him for eight years now. I usually say that I don't want to do a movie without Heikki doing the foley. We are very close. We are great friends. Heikki is the first foley artist I met who reads scripts. Usually foley artists are working when there's a picture and you're like, "Okay, so now we need to do the footsteps" and so on. Heikki and I are really talking very creatively about the sound from the very beginning. He gets sound design sketches from me to work on. If there's score on a film, he gets music so that his foley is sometimes in rhythm with the music that's there.

In that sense, I don't really ... There's not really that much of ... It's really not that much of a difference between what is foley and what is sound design. That's also what we tried to do with every element in this film. Also, with Dave, that when we were mixing, then I was telling Dave like, "Okay, any creative idea that you have is very welcome." There's this Danish saying that is: "The only limit is your imagination." I really love that saying and it really goes for The Killing of Two Lovers where we were really constantly like experimenting with things.

I really like when you can't really hear anymore what is dialog, what is foley, what is sound design, what is ambiance. It all melds together. What is music? Or in a sense, for me, what's really great is when it all feels like music even if there is no music.

Darwin: Now this obviously had to make it kind of a different sort of stressful to do the mixing work on this. I would think that because everything ... You don't have the comfort of the gauze of the soundtrack that can maybe cover up hiccups in the sound or whatever. Everything is very, very in your face. I'm wondering, David, from your perspective, what were some of the complexities, the unusual complexities, that you had to deal with in this particular case?

David: A lot of the times going into a mix or after having pre-dubbed something, I go into a final mix, similar to the, "Okay, it's a block of marble. The statue is in the marble. I just need to chisel down until I get to the statue." That's kind of a lot of the times when you go into a mix, you go, "I know what I want to be hearing here and I just need to work the elements that I have to achieve that", to achieve that sonic vision.

This was the first mix that I've ever done that we hit day one of the mix and I don't think any of the three people in the room knew where we were trying to get. It was something where we came in and we said, "We have all of this great stuff. We have this great story. We have this great acting. We have this great directing and this great editing. Let's take it where we can take it."

That was both frightening and liberating at the same time. One of the things is we had a very limited time frame. We had five days to complete the film. One of the things that's also liberating about that is you don't have any time to overthink everything. You have time to react. You have time to "Let's go down this road..." and you go all the way down that road. Or if it looks like that road is going to lead nowhere, you abandon it quickly and go and choose a different tack.

The absolute openness to the creativity of what we were wanting to do, wanting to try to accomplish, emotionally, for the film and the collaboration and the willingness on all participants to just open up and go there, was really great fun. Also, not knowing your destination made you feel like when you got there, you didn't get to the wrong place because there is no place to get to. There wasn't like, "Gee, we were shooting for this mark and we just missed it." It was: the destination is what you hear.

David: Speaking to the sound design versus sound effects and foley elements of the film, if you think about the very, very opening of the film, when we open up on David's face breathing, that breathing is the design of that moment. You know? That is what the emotion of the moment is is this intensity. That didn't happen until three and a half days into the final mix when Clayne, the lead actor came in, we threw up a microphone and said, "We need to humanize you in several scenes" and we had marked them out like, "Here we're missing the connection, here we're missing the connection, here we're missing the connection" and so he came in and he just did breathing passes for us on that opening scene and then we just had to cut it in and that ... Imagine that scene without it, just the image of his face versus the image of his face with the shaky breathing, self-contained, small enough that you believe that the other people in the room don't hear it.

David: But that is immensely powerful and that was by design for the sound to effect the viewer. Like Peter said, it's not always spaceships and the obvious stuff that you feel are design elements, the car doors and the buzzes and the clicks and whirs that are playing David's emotions throughout the film but something as small as that is by its very nature sound design.

Darwin: Right. That's so true and it's really interesting to think about the totality of the sound of this thing being a sound design effort among many people. I think that's amazing. Now Peter, I would say, though, that there is a one thing that, to me, was a very sound designer-ly moment. That was related to whenever the character David would be stressed. It was a very high stress situation. All of a sudden, there was this banging sound, there was this click/bang kind of thing. Couldn't tell ... At first, I thought it sounded like a gun but then later it sounded like a door or something. I don't know.

Also, a tense sound level. Again, kind of like what you talked about, something that is sound but musical without being music. It was very much ... It very much was a sound design moment. I'm curious. What did you do to create that? How did you attach those sounds back to the sound of the rest of the movie?

Peter: When I talked with Robert about the project, the very first time, he talked about musique concrète, which is this old French style of music, which is based only on sounds, so it's music created from sounds. He was very inspired by that. Robert really loved this idea of using sounds as music. He also loved that a lot of the musique concrète was often very rhythmical instead of being ambient and like reverberant, like it often is when you create internalized sounds for a character. It's often like suddenly there's these big reverbs or the world gets silent or it's very dreamy in its sound. Robert wanted this to be rhythmical and powerful and intense.

When he sent me the very first cut of the very, very first rough cut of the film, it had this opening of David running down the street, the main character running down the street. Because so much of the film takes place in his car, I got this idea of using the sounds of the car, like car doors, alarms, screeching metal that I recorded together with my assistant on this scrapyard where you could smash up cars. We had all these crazy sounds of metal screeches and banging and used all that for creating this sound collage for the opening.

I vividly remember like doing that first sound collage, which was like three minutes of abstract car sound noise symphony. I sent that to Robert. I was thinking, "Okay, Robert will think I've lost it, that I'm mad. He will now write me and say, 'Peter, you're fired. I will find someone who makes sounds in a reasonable way." I mean, I sent this sequence to Robert and then he didn't get back to me, like the day after, I didn't hear back from him. Then another day went by, he didn't get back to me.

Four days went by and I was pretty anxious and then suddenly, I get this mail from Robert saying, "Peter, I made a new cut of the film" and then I watched it and then he had taken this sound collage and then put it in eight to 10 places in the film because he loved it so much. He thought it was an integral part of David's character, of the whole film, of the storytelling in the film.

Suddenly, that sound collage turned into something that was a sonic motif of the whole film. Then I used those sounds as just build on that for the rest of the creative process on the film but it was pretty amazing to experience that this thing where I had been doing this montage/collage of crazy sounds and then having Robert just interpret that and use it as a really integral part of the film. That's kind of how these abstract sound montages really became the backbone of the whole soundtrack of the film.

Darwin: Interesting. Very interesting. I just looked at the clock and we're already well past our time. I lied about how long we were going to do this apparently. Before we go, I want to ask you one question. I'm really curious about the process of doing the rerecording mixing where you had to work together. You had to collaborate probably because of the complexity to this thing. How did that work? Literally, did you just sit next to each other in a studio and make decisions together? What did that process look like?

David: Yeah. It is a ... On a lot of the independent and smaller budget things, it's a one person job. The big budgets, they have two, often times three - or historically three. You would have a dialog and then you would actually have a separate music mixer and an effects mixer. That has become more condensed and even the division of duties has kind of shifted over time where sound design and music might be under a certain fader, as opposed to music and dialog going together.

For this picture, Peter went ... When Peter and I first joined up together, he said I'm going to be handling the design and ambiances and effects and you'll be handling the dialog and the foley and it worked out beautifully. There wasn't music to parse over, so we didn't have to worry about that particular element but we did sit side by side at Juniper Post and he had his box and running his stuff and I was running mine and I alluded to this before - that it was one of the first times that I had worked with someone else ... This goes back to the collaboration and just kind of also having an alter ego where your mind and elsewhere is that I'd be hearing something as I'm passing through a dialog and I'd think like, "Okay, it'd be great if the sound effects did this" or the backgrounds did that or whatnot.

David: By the time we hit stop, he had already made those changes on the fly as we were moving through the scene. It was wonderful to have things happening that I'm thinking about while I'm working on my stuff but they're already occurring so it's not two, three passes with one person trying to do those actions. Then there's also the things that you would never, ever, ever think of that we could bounce back and forth to each other.

David: What did you say about Randy's quote? My ego comes pre-shrunk. That was absolutely the case here where nobody was ... It wasn't combative on suggesting something across the console to say like, "Hey, in your world, why don't you try this?" It wasn't met with resistance or, "Hey, I'm doing my thing, you stick to your own set of faders." We had a wonderful back and forth on all of that where ideas were tried and truly nothing was off-limits. The running sequence up the street he referred to earlier in the opening, we're going up and we had the design building and there were choices even during that where, "This would be a great spot for another one of those metal groans" or they'd be another spot for a door right here or, "Here we're getting a little lighter. Seems like we've been going too long with this theme."

David: One of the things he said, he says, "Why don't you take the foley running and let's run it through Slapper" which is a surround delay, "And start getting that to integrate?" This is something I would have never, ever, ever in a million years thought to do, that all of a sudden with just these running footsteps that are very rhythmic and patterned, about maybe 60% up the street, we needed something else to be happening sonically to get us to the end where you have to have some new element to introduce. The element that was introduced was the feet and all of a sudden they're gone around all the speakers and they're integrating with the doors and the buzzers and the emotive parts of David. That's just the kind of stuff that you don't sit in a room by yourself and do.

That is how I think the collaboration and the shared mixing experience was just so valuable.

Darwin: That's amazing. Well, I want to thank you guys so much for having this talk. This was really great to hear some of the background behind both your work and your background coming up but also in the development of this very unique movie and the sound design behind it. Thank you so much for your time. I so appreciate it.

David: Thank you.

Peter: Great pleasure.

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