Last winter at IPR, I took a class called Desktop Production. For our final project we had to cut a movie trailer down to 30 seconds, remove the audio, then add in all of our own sound.
The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies as a kid, so I couldn’t resist doing Oz The Great and Powerful which had just come out in the theater. I downloaded four different trailers from Apple’s website, and picked out sections I liked, put them in order and edited it down to 30 seconds in Final Cut Pro 7. Once that was complete, I dropped it into a ProTools session. We were given IPR’s sound effects library, so I really wanted to mess around with sound effects for this project. In the end, it was a little more sound effects heavy than a trailer would normally be, but it was fun to do. I layered a lot of sounds together to make them sound more appropriate – for example, I did not have an actual tornado sound effect, so I had to layer multiple wind sounds, including sounds like high winds, low winds, some fast winds, whistling winds, moaning winds, winds with debris, along with thunder and some flag flapping sounds for the hot air balloon.
I learned some basic automation for this project, which is where you tell ProTools to do things (like turn up the volume, or pan the sound to the left or right) at a certain time, and ProTools will remember to do it every time. So for instance, in the part where the witch throws a fire ball, I told the computer to pan the sound from the left to the right at this point (so I didn’t literally have to sit there and turn the knob while I recorded the audio). I automated the volumes of the different sound effects so that they would blend with each other, or become louder and softer.
For the music I wanted a string section and I wanted it to be simple, but I was having a lot of trouble coming up with something fitting. I happened to be watcing a lot of Downton Abbey, so the day before I threw the music together and you can kind of hear some similarities in the rhythm. The challenge was getting to some kind of chord resolution by the end of the 30 seconds, because 1) I was putting the music together at the last minute and 2) the sound effects I found for the light battle had some tones that needed to mesh with the chords. In the end, I figured out what chord would go with the effect, and then just shifted the key in ProTools so that the music would match.
It’s a little choppy and by no means perfect, but I got an A and a fist bump from my teacher, so I’m happy with it considering it was my first ProTools/Final Cut project. Let me know what you think!