ADR. Automated Dialogue Replacement.

Occasionally (or rarely) also explained as:
Additional Dialogue Recording
Another Dialogue Re-do
Appropriate Dialogue, Revisited...
Again, Dialogue Recording?
Aren't (I) Done Re-Speaking?

However you want to explain the acronym, ADR is a given in an actor's life and those who tell you they absolutely love that part of the process may be smoking something illegal.

Just kidding... it's not that bad. :-) ADR can be fun, actually. It can also be slightly frustrating and a little embarrassing as well... depending on what scene you're working on. Fortunately, I got to experience fun, frustration, and embarrassment in my ADR session yesterday for episodes 101, 102, and 103.

If you're not familiar with ADR, here's the deal. You (the actor) go into a soundproof room and stand in front of a small podium that has on it a list of all the lines that you need to re-record. There's a lot that the post-production folks can do to fix and clean up dialogue, but there always seem to be at least a few lines that need to be re-recorded in a sound booth. Why, you ask? Well, maybe you were shooting the scene outside and airplanes were flying overhead right when you were speaking. Or, you filmed the scene inside a studio but the scene was shot MOS (which means they intentionally didn't capture any sound). Or, you were filming in the studio, which is soundproof, but the tiny microphone taped to your skin was rustling against the inside of your shirt.

So, for whatever reason, you have to do ADR. And there you are in the soundproof room standing at the podium and in front of you is a large microphone. The engineer running the session plays the snippet of the scene for which you need to re-record your dialogue, and you watch yourself on screen as you say the dialogue. For example, let's say the scene is of you haggling over the price of a car with a sneaky car salesman and the brilliant line "Come on, Toyota Man, you can do better than that price!" is the one you need to re-record. Standing there at the podium in the sound booth, you'll watch the 5-10 seconds of the scene leading up to that line, then you'll hear three loud beeps, which serve as your signal that the line is coming up. As soon as the beeps stop, you say the line into the microphone, trying to match what you're saying with how your lips are moving on screen. On smaller bits of dialogue, you can get it in one or two takes... but if your character was flustered, taking pauses, or speaking in an irregular pattern, then you can see how parts of the process might be a bit frustrating. Fortunately, our post supervisor and the ADR guru were both fantastic to work with - and very patient with all the actors who came in yesterday (including me).

Now, I think I maaaaay have mentioned that ADR can also be a bit embarrassing at times... Did I? Yep, I did. How or why would it possibly be embarrassing, you might ask? Well, let's consider a different example. Let's say you filmed a love scene. But since there was no dialogue in the scene (it was lovin' only) and since the director was directing you as the scene was being filmed, the scene was shot with no sound. Guess what that means? Ten points if your answer was ADR!

Yes, folks, shooting a love scene or makeout fest with no sound means that later, you get to go into the ADR booth and watch yourself in action on a VERY LARGE screen - with the engineer and the post supervisor watching you. And, as if that weren't embarrassing enough, you then get the unmitigated joy of making scene-appropriate sounds (referred to as "moans and groans" on the ADR list) into the microphone and trying to synch those sounds with what you're actually doing on screen. Sound like fun? Thinking about trading in your day job to become an actor? Seriously, ya just gotta laugh....... Which I did.

I'll have another ADR session in a few weeks for episodes 104, 105, and 106, so I'll let you know if anything else interesting happens. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates!


Anonymous Janice said...

Michelle, you're spoiling us! Another truly inspiring update.
I'll never watch a love scene in the same way again.
Now I'm thinking of some of the "really good" lesbian love scenes I've seen..."When Night Is Falling," "Personal Best," "Lianna,"
"Imagine Me & You," "D.E.B.S." (both short and feature film),anything with Dominique Sanda,but it doesn't really matter 'cause she died most of the time :(... "Tipping the Velvet," "Saving Face," "The War Widow"...ADR..or no ADR...
I think I made my head hurt.(Just kidding!!!).
Love those updates.

5:50 AM  
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8:53 PM  

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