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"Les Miserables" a different approach on a Movie Musical
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funkcity
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#1
22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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"Les Miserables" a different approach on a Movie Musical

The much anticipated Movie, "Les Miserables" has taken a new approach to the recording and performance of the lead singers in this wall-to-wall (over 2.5 hour) music-filled musical.

Les Misérables Featurette (2012) Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman Movie HD - YouTube

What they did was sing live with a hidden earpiece to a real piano-accompanist (electronic sampled keyboard) and the performance and tempo could vary just like a spoken word. It was after then that the orchestra performed and was added and the piano was then removed. The corny usual lip-syc issues are largely gone.

The sound editing and mixing must have been a herculean effort.
Whether you like this genre or not you might want to check it out when it comes out.
#2
22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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Thanks for posting. Much more interested in seeing this movie now I know they used live vocal takes. What an interesting notion to cast actors who can actually sing!
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22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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You would be right in thinking the mix was a serious effort from all! I was heavily involved in it (but not mixing!) and given the work load and timescale, the team have come out with a great product. I won't spoil it for anyone and im sure I'll be shot if I reveal any secrets right now but there are a lot of questionable approaches to certain scenes and how the audio got to its particular state!
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22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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'Dis look like a job fo' zumbuddy else!
funkcity
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22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitbh View Post
You would be right in thinking the mix was a serious effort from all! I was heavily involved in it (but not mixing!) and given the work load and timescale, the team have come out with a great product. I won't spoil it for anyone and im sure I'll be shot if I reveal any secrets right now but there are a lot of questionable approaches to certain scenes and how the audio got to its particular state!
Maybe after it releases you could share a bit?
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22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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There are a couple of great posts from the production soundie re this film on JWSOUND.NET

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8th December 2012
Old 8th December 2012
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I am SOOOO looking forward to seeing Les Mis...
funkcity
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13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Hey lets record the vocals first then overdub a 78 piece orchestra.....whew, That's what they did!
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16th December 2012
Old 16th December 2012
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I saw it. It was a valiant effort, but I thought it really missed the mark.

It became all about the actors acting, the emotional impact of the story was lost. I didn't see the characters, all I could see was the actors working...really, really hard. When I saw the play on Broadway it worked on a deeply emotional level. In this production, that was completely missing.

I also had big problems with the mix. The vocals didn't seem at all integrated with the score. The vocals were WAY out front of the orchestra. This was probably a choice, but it didn't help and worked against the show emotionally.

Also, someone should have told Tom Hooper that he could cast actors that could both act AND sing. A lot of the the singing was just godawful. And who was that impersonating Hugh Jackman? I know Jackman can both sing and act, but this guy was way, way off.

My 2 cents...
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21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Fleischman View Post
I saw it. It was a valiant effort, but I thought it really missed the mark.

It became all about the actors acting, the emotional impact of the story was lost. I didn't see the characters, all I could see was the actors working...really, really hard. \...
Sounds like what would normally be called 'Bad' acting. Coz normally, if an actor's practising their art well, the 'more' they act, the more emotional impact the story has. It's kinda the point of acting, innit?

Mind you, one person's 'acting' is another person's 'shameless hyperbolic mugging', so it's certainly a matter of taste. Speaking of which, I probably will never sit through this film, since I saw the original production in London's West End long ago and could barely stomach any of the singing, writing, or acting. Definitely not my cup o' tea, but to each his/her own!

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#12
21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Fleischman View Post
I saw it. It was a valiant effort, but I thought it really missed the mark.

It became all about the actors acting, the emotional impact of the story was lost. I didn't see the characters, all I could see was the actors working...really, really hard. When I saw the play on Broadway it worked on a deeply emotional level. In this production, that was completely missing.

I also had big problems with the mix. The vocals didn't seem at all integrated with the score. The vocals were WAY out front of the orchestra. This was probably a choice, but it didn't help and worked against the show emotionally.

Also, someone should have told Tom Hooper that he could cast actors that could both act AND sing. A lot of the the singing was just godawful. And who was that impersonating Hugh Jackman? I know Jackman can both sing and act, but this guy was way, way off.

My 2 cents...
Interesting. Have you seen Tim Burton's version of "Sweeny Todd"? It was interesting to see a fine actor tackle a singing role compared to a singer trying to act. I really enjoyed the non-over-the-top-anti-broadway style of the singing. I'm anxious to see how it compares to Les Mis...
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21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
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Musical tastes aside, I do think it's a pretty cool way to approach shooting/recording a movie musical. Almost a hybrid of the traditional movie musical (big sets, real locations, lavish production numbers) and filming a live stage performance.

Of course, you have to wonder how much 'sweetening' occurred after the fact. On the one hand you have the immediacy of a live vocal, but on the other hand you have an a modern audience trained to hearing pitch corrected robo-singing... I'd be curious how true to the original 'live' aesthetic they stayed.
#14
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
Musical tastes aside, I do think it's a pretty cool way to approach shooting/recording a movie musical. Almost a hybrid of the traditional movie musical (big sets, real locations, lavish production numbers) and filming a live stage performance.

Of course, you have to wonder how much 'sweetening' occurred after the fact. On the one hand you have the immediacy of a live vocal, but on the other hand you have an a modern audience trained to hearing pitch corrected robo-singing... I'd be curious how true to the original 'live' aesthetic they stayed.
Well, they sure didn't make any effort to put the singers in tune...
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22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
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Now now Tom!
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2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
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having just watched Les Mis on New Years eve, I have to say that I thought it was daring and ultimately very moving....


the main problems I had with it were in the third act, which was quite jarring for me- I was wholly unimpressed with the barricade sequence, but it totally redeemed itself in the last act to my taste.

The film in general, being based entirely as opera, was seemingly very intimate, which the Stage production was surely not- but in doing that, I thought Hooper did a great job of showing the emotion of the story. frankly, I thought it was some of the best work Anne Hathaway has ever done, and I am a BIG fan of hers.... Russell Crowe was also wonderful, and far better than I could have ever hoped for. Jackman was good, sometimes great, but largely just good....

All in, it was a little spotty, but largely wonderful in my opinion. And I have to say I wept in its finale. I watched Skyfall after it, and I have to say I was sorely disappointed with it on most fronts.
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