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James Crocket to CAS Forum  

  • Does anybody know why so many "B" movies are almost entirely post dubbed? 
I was under the impression that post sound was more expensive than recording on set. 

Rodger Pardee: 
Sounds like a classic case of false economizing. By skimping on production sound, the producers have to make up the difference in post. Too often they'll budget so little for production sound that they end up with an inexperienced mixer, or if they get a good mixer they can hamper the work in others ways (such as not budgeting for a good boom person or an adequate equipment package.) 

I suspect that many low budget producers actually know that they will pay for this approach later, but sometimes they are raising money as they go along, in stages, and that they're hoping once they have a version of the film cut, with a temp mix, that this may be used to raise more funds. This may get the movie made, but it's not a good way to do sound work. 

Bob McHale:  
I agree wholeheartedly with Roger!  This a terrible oversight by MOST directors with the "fix-it-in-the-mix mentality.  It shows a complete lack of regard for sound as half the medium they are working in, and a complete lack of understanding or experience.  This attitude of the low budget Director or Producer (often the same person) makes a bad movie what it is.  Bad sound ruins a movie far more that a bad cut in editing.  You can blink and miss a glitch in print or editing, but people do not have ear lids. 

Bad sound is the MOST OFFENSIVE aspect to a bad movie.  Inexperienced Directors are so concerned about time, that they forget to make a movie correctly.  They can save so much time, money, aggravation and embarrassment by taking time to get more wild sound, record lines wild with their actors before they move to the opposite coast or continent or get a day job.  They think that if they use an SM 58 on the set since it's free instead of renting good equipment, that they are being savvy and displaying good business habits. 

Pardon the raving, but I have been involved in too many movies with good scripts and actors to be destroyed by impatience and short-sightedness. 

Edited excerpts from CAS Forum April, 1999 
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