The May-June Issue of MPEG Magazine contains an interesting article about the different approaches of four re-recording mixing teams from Los Angeles and New York.
The re-recording mixing team is an odd phenomenon, common in Los Angeles, rare in New York and almost completely absent in Northern California. Local post-production culture, personal history and the size of the film are all factors, but one thing is for sure: Mixing teams work best when the chemistry is good, the working style is compatible and the size of the job calls for a team approach. Editors Guild Magazine interviewed four mixing teams to see how they operate.
David Giammarco & Paul Massey at Sony Studios, L.A:
This style of working allows each mixer to “focus on the details of their respective departments,” says Giammarco, and then take a step back to concentrate on the overall picture. “If I were one person working alone and getting client input, he would never have a moment to stop, catch his breath and see what he’s doing,” adds Massey. “We bounce ideas off each other all the time and present something that as a team we feel confident about. The mechanics of a mix become easier when you work with all the time. We always feel free to suggest creative ideas to each other.”
Sean Garnhart, freelance, & Cory Melious at Sound Lounge, NY:
Teamwork can create not only an exchange of ideas and creativity but also knowledge. Just as Melious says he’s learned more about sound design from Garnhart, so Garnhart credits effects mixer Doug Hemphill as a mentor. Garnhart supervised editing and designed sound for Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005), and then did pre-dubs for the movies. “Knowing that Doug was going to mix the finals was intimidating,” says Garnhart. “But his feedback was extremely supportive and priceless. He helped me become the mixer I am today.”
Anna Behlmer & Andy Nelson at 20th Century Fox Studios, L.A:
Teamwork for this pair is a matter of philosophy as well as personality. “We both believe in broad strokes,” explains Nelson. “We never work in small details from the beginning. I need to see the story and the emotional arc. What I like to do is sit back with Anna, and play the music in almost one run. It’s rough, but it immediately tells the story––what the filmmaker wants to achieve. And that opens the whole discussion for what we want to achieve.”
Scott Millan and David Parker at Todd-AO Studios, L.A:
“It would be impossible for the most part to do this as a solo mixer,” says Millan. “As it stands now, David and I have worked on projects where we don’t go home for three days. One person couldn’t physically do it all.” They even occasionally work on smaller films together, such as Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch (2010). “We jumped on that and maximized the resources,” says Millan. “He’s a loyal client and someone we want to work with as much as we can, so we do the work as smart and cost-effectively as possible.”