Reviewed By: Gael Chandler, Author of Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know
In 15 chapters over 315 pages Woody lays down how to plan for, record, edit, and mix sound. He ought to know. A member of CAS (Cinema Audio Society, an honorary society of sound mixers akin to A.C.E.), Woody’s done it all. And he shares his knowledge in a down-to-earth way that clears a path for all those interested in working in audio to follow.
The book is designed as a text book: a series of review and discussion questions, resources, and exercises close each chapter. All of this is helpful for the independent and career filmmaker – sound creators of all experience levels – because the book is a thorough GPS, lasering in on the day-to-day audio practices as well as the technical and conceptual aspects. And it is thoroughly readable – I mean, the typeset is clear, the headings and photos “read” and the info is easy to take in.
Woody starts with a chapter on conceiving sound and threads design ideas and approaches throughout the book. I always find it fascinating to hear sound designers talk about the sonic worlds they create – all by studying the film or video they’re handed, listening, and translating the story into not just sound effects and pristine dialogue tracks, but a solid soundscape that supports and embodies the project. Woody’s book doesn’t disappoint in this area as he reviews what bad sound is and reveals how sound can enhance a picture and move the story and plot points forward.
Next, the book spends three chapters on the tools for recording sound detailing how they work them and how to use them on set and location. In subsequent chapters Woody applies the same rigor to describing DAWs, sound, music composing and editing, and dialogue editing, Foley and ADR recording and editing, and the mix and what it produces. He also includes interviews with editors, case studies, and a few stories from the many audio jobs he’s had as a sound recordist and mixer (re-recordist).
The book comes with a CD which contains illustrations (diagrams and photos) and audio tracks for putting in your DAW and experimenting.
Note from Reviewer: I am pleased to rave about Audio Production and Postproduction, which I have perused parts of thoroughly in updating my book, Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video, due out sometime in 2012.