Local Film Premieres to SRO Audience

The Georgetown College-produced film "Surviving Guthrie" premiered at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington to a standing-room-only sell-out crowd on March 27, 2008. Guthrie, written by Georgetown Alumnus Jesse Harris and directed/edited by Georgetown professor Ed Smith, is a dark comedy based in a small fictitious liberal arts college. The cast included over a hundred Georgetown students, staff and faculty. Veteran Lexington actor Joe Gatton and Jessie Rose Pennington starred in the 90-minute movie.


• The movie's production served as a training ground for students from several area colleges and universities. For many, it was a chance to work alongside seasoned professionals and experience the challenges of churning out a long-format production. Students served in many crucial roles that a typical Hollywood production would include, like acting, extras, lighting, location sound, script continuity, craft services, camera assistant, dolly operator, set design, production assistant, dialog editing, sound design, among many others.

• This was a great teaching opportunity for all of the professionals involved. Director/editor/producer Ed Smith worked with students on both sides of the camera before, during, and after filming. Director of Photography, Marc Gurevitch of Trigger Happy Productions, worked with students directly on the set during filming. Arthur Rouse of Video Editing Services, director of Bluegrass Community Technical College's film studies program used the project as a real world example in class, and supplied many of his students with hands-on experience. Neil Kesterson of Dynamix Productions provided location audio instruction, as well as Dynamix's facility for the complete audio post-production.

For Dynamix, engineer Dane Dickmann, a senior at the University of Kentucky, provided the bulk of location sound. He then began the long, demanding, exacting, and ardous chore of dialog editing. As the most overlooked critical element of films and documentaries, poor or no attention to dialog audio can yank the viewer from the engrossing story into realization that the audio track is inferior. A single simple scene with two actors may consist of ten to twenty shots from different angles and distances. Each of these different shots would probably have two channels of audio (one actor per channel) with varying levels of audio and different sounding backgrounds and ambiences. This would mean twenty to forty separate audio clips! The dialog editor must create transitions between each clip using pieces of ambience, feathering each one into the other making a smooth and undetectable transition. Each clip's volume is leveled out, and equalization is applied to even out different shots from each other.

Like a typical Hollywood production, some location shots of Guthrie were very challenging to fix. These required hiding the imperfections with created ambiences, while others required ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement - or re-voicing the dialog to picture). Additionally, most scenes required the addition of other sounds, such as crowd noise, party music, door knocks, etc.

Neil Kesterson mixed the feature film for DVD presentation in the Kentucky Theatre, as well as other locations around the state. The film will be submitted to film festivals in the near future. Check out these links to stories about the film.

http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/News/2008/3-13-08.htm

http://www.myspace.com/survivingguthrie

http://www.harlandaily.com/articles/2008/03/25/news/local_news/news8294.txt

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=231074399&blogID=366019891


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