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The Darwin Awards

The Darwin Awards, directed by Finn Taylor and based on the popular website of the same name.

On this film I worked as the  supervising assistant sound editor, the foley editor and I edited fx on a reel or two.  We had a very small crew of 4, not including the composer, David Kitay.  There are so many great stories to tell about my experiences on this film, from working closely with Chris Boyes and Frank Eulner, to recording ADR session with Joe Finnes while in London using an experimental internet based recording plugin, to recalling the amazing instruments David Kitay brought with him to Skywalker Ranch and introducing me to Cacoa nibs!

I have chosen a section of this film to share for which I cut the fx.  It also happens to be one of my favorite stories.  Some noteworthy sections remembering back:

1. The ding for the “cruise control” despite seeming like the obvious choice in hindsight took a bit of trial and error before coming up with the “airplane seatbelts off” sound.  A little creative help I recall was given by my friend and dialog editor, Marshall Winn on this one.

2. It is smaller in the mix now but as I was cutting this scene Chris Boyes, the sound designer and one of the re-recording mixers on this film, came by to take a listen.  One of his comments was for the moment the large red big rig just misses the RV, he wanted to hear the sound of a the back of a large empty cargo truck.  He was essentially looking for the sound of rattling metal panels to fill on for the interior shot just after the miss.  This was quite a task to dig up.  I don’t remember what I used for this section but I know that I have looked for it numerous times for other shows I have cut sound fx for and never seem to find it.  However, whatever it was I did find and cut it in, it made Chris very happy.

3. The third sound to note is the dentist drill.  For this sound I recorded my battery powered dremel. I then loaded that sound into Kontakt ( a popular sampler application) and played with the pitch and tempo.  I think it turned out really well and it was super fun to do.

I recommend this film, it is Wynnona Ryder’s first film since her shoplifting scandal and sadly Chris Penn’s final appearance on film.