Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Mac-spletives

And so, 34 bread-based lunches later with Dale-the-music, Glen-the-sound and the eight Zombie Resurrection cast members with sound to fix, yesterday we finally say adieu to our ADR.

The final tally – 225 new sound snippets to improve our aural landscape. The odd line of dialogue with too much extraneous noise on it; grunts and groans from various bludgeonings; swathes of zombie growls, screaming, weeping and manic laughing; and three bonus lines to assist the more confused viewer through the final act.

Hampshire has already said another fond farewell to the delicious acting prowess of Rachel, Joe, Simon, Shami, Eric, Danny and Jade, and it was the incomparable Jim Sweeney that was the last through Dale-the-music’s Southampton studio, flying down from Glasgow yesterday just to swear into a microphone.

One of our required deliverables for international sales is a re-written screenplay, with the original dialogue swapped out with the actual lines spoken in the movie; an essential aide for subtitling and dubbing the film for foreign markets. When I got onto this couple of weeks back, I had naively assumed that this would be a fairly simple exercise – after all, Jake and I went to a lot of trouble finessing the dialogue before the shoot to make the lines trip easily and effectively out of the mouths of the actors. Surely a professional respect for the written word would ensure only minor deviations from the page?

This, it seems, is not how it works. Seven hours later and I had effectively re-transcribed the entire movie from scratch. And it was a fuck-sight better than the one we wrote.

But along the way I did get some interesting insights into the acting process.

Regular attendees to the blog will know that Jim plays a character called Mac in the film – a veteran soldier with a voracious appetite for a very specific brand of zombie carnage. And an uncanny ability to cut directly to the insult. My recent exertions transcribing the film into Final Draft allowed access to some enlightening statistics – Mac has 888 words of dialogue, and the highest swearing-to-rest-of-sentence ratio of any character. And this was just the swearing that Final Draft’s profanity filter could identify; the vaginas, head-raped cock-parks and cock-in-anuses have all unwittingly passed through the algorithm with an official safe-for-PG-viewing stamp.

And so it came as quite a surprise to me to find that Jim had somehow secreted another twenty “fucks” into the film above and beyond those allotted in the screenplay. Mac now defaults to dropping in expletives where a lesser man would use a comma, and probably means that any future trailer cut for universal viewing won’t feature the big man with his mouth open at any point.

Although, to be fair, Jake and I didn’t go out of our way to help. After getting Jim to roar repeatedly at an empty Southampton graveyard to “shut the fuck up” (Charmed Apocalypse’s new preferred quiet outdoors spot – see the earlier blog entry for the problems we had with Rachel and Joe), our final act in the studio before dropping him back at the airport was to record some personalised Mac-based ringtones for our high-rolling IndieGoGo contributors. It was one of the perks we offered, courtesy of Zombie Resurrection’s “swearing connoisseur”.


Some advanced warning to Marty, Debbie, Adam, Andy and Chris – better not assign these to anybody in your phone book that might call you when you’re in a public place. One for when the mother-in-law rings, I recommend. Incarcerated.

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