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  • Writer's pictureRyan van Eerde

The Arctic Trailer - Sound Replacement

I have been tasked with replacing audio for the movie trailer "The Arctic", the trailer depicts a a very bleak scene where a man and an injured woman are stranded after a plan crash where there is a race against time to save the injured woman. Tension builds throughout the trailer with the couples predicament going from bad to worse with no hope of rescue in sight and ending with the man falling and getting trapped in an underground cavern. There is minimal dialogue in the trailer thus making the use of environment sounds and music more crucial for the portrayal of what the movie is about and just how dire their situation is. See the official trailer below. The trailer I will be working on though has most of the Bleecker Street credits removed.

For this project I have already been supplied with ADR, music and a few SFX which helps to lessen the work needed, this means I can focus more on producing Foley sounds for an arctic environment. Due to the fact that there isn't much dialogue a lot more of the audiences focus will be on the music, Foley and SFX meaning I have to get these aspects right to be able to pull of a convincing sound replacement. My main goal is to really capture the essence of this cold arctic environment with the Foley whilst stirring peoples emotions with music and SFX.

From a technical point of view there isn't a lot of stuff happening in the trailer but there are a few very specific and difficult sounds to possible reproduce, such as a polar bear roar and a helicopter. It would be interesting trying to do some wacky sound design to produce these sounds but if I feel like doing that would detract from the overall quality and realism then using free sample might be the way to go. Also producing snowy sounding footsteps could be a challenge, I have been supplied with a few samples to work with but I would like to try and replicate them in the Foley studio. A list of Foley sounds can be seen below.

Metal pole into dirt/gravel

Metal pole into ice

Metal onto the ground

Kneeling on ground

Metal scraping onto ice/snow

Walking on snow

Dragging metal pole on snow

Clothe movement whilst walking

Water fishing sound

Metal clanks

Metal door open

Picking up of metal objects

Metal object placed into snow

Winding gears/rotor motor

Electronic beep

Lighter being struck

Gas cooktop igniting

Food cooking/boiling

Knife stirring food in metal pot

Paper map being opened

Marker pen

Rope into plastic sled

Metal pole into ice

Gas bottle into plastic sled

Picking up metal object

Jacket being zipped up

Belt buckle being closed

Icepick into ice

Sled being dragged up ice

Pulling rope

Bear break through ice

Bear roar

Flare ignite

Helicopter sounds

Falling through ice

These are most of the sounds that I was able to pick out whilst going through the trailer but I might decide that more are needed when I actually get into the studio. From this list I set up a basic Pro Tools session and put in markers that a framed to the precise time of when each of these different sounds should be produced, see image below.

To complete the Foley work I have enlisted the help of some other audio engineers (Ash Saron, Alice Headlam, and Carissa Macfarlane), completing Foley work is impossible by yourself and having creative input on how to produce sounds from multiple people is always beneficially. I have also never worked with these people before even though I have known them for a while now so it will be good to see what their creative and technical processes are like. More on the actual Foley sessions in upcoming blogs.

The ADR I have received is out of time out of time with what is happening in the trailer so some editing and time alignment will be required which I will do in a completely separate Pro Tools session. When after the ADR has been edited I will import the dialogue into the finished Foley session then start on populating it with music and other SFX to develop the emotion and tension. I feel like getting all of the Foley and ADR done first is a better step than going straight for the music tracks because getting these aspects right means its easier to build the music around the environment and dialogue rather than making them fit with the music.

From what I can tell from the original trailer I believe this project will be very interesting and somewhat challenging, conveying the emotions of the characters and the dangers of the environment are going to be the most crucial aspects I have to get right. I foresee this project as being one where getting a lot of feedback will really help to produce a great final product, not that getting feedback isn't good on other projects but because this one is so emotion driven making sure I'm connecting with the audience is a must.

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