Sound Chat #40 - Romain Bigorgne (Foley / Effects Editor)

Hey all, Matt from here and I am greatful to have Romain Bigorgne, a Foley and Sound Effects Editor and Mixer, lots of you will know about the Tekken films that have been out in the past couple of years and ill start by focusing on those.

Your first role in Tekken (2010) was as assistant sound editor, what parts of the post production process where you involved in?

This was my first actual job for a post production company in L.A. Assistant sound editor is a vague term, but I my case I was involved with the following. 
- Getting hard drives from picture editing company, containing movs files, omf exports, production sound dailies. 
- Cueing the ambiances: putting down properly named markers on each picture cut that needs a change in ambiance, including slight differences. This is to prepare the work of the ambiance editor.
- Creating bounces from ambiances, sfx, foley and dia and send them over to each editors so they can play them back along with their work. 

When you put down markers for ambience editors can you give an example of when that is needed? is it just for every shot change?

Ambiance cueing in our case (but i think it s how it s mostly done in LA) is done by putting a makers for starter at the beginning of each main scene, with a description like : "INT_NIGHT_Kitchen_Quiet" or "INT_ARENA_NIGHT_Crowded".

But you also have to put markers in more detail changes, for instance, within the fight arena scene: "CLOSE_UP_Cheering_Crowd" and then maybe "CLOSE_UP_Fighter_Pit". 

This is helping a lot the ambiance editor (or ambiance+sfx editor) as all the changes a visible and ready at the precise frame of cuts. The editor can use marker and ProTools shortcuts to trim his layered pads. He or she can also estimate the work, and consider artistic point of views from the description that he reads. 

When are you passing on your work to other editors, is it when you have done a scene or is it based on smaller sequences?

I'm passing on my work on the entire project when possible, or we go reel by reel when in a rush.

In Tekken (2) Kazuya's Revenge you where a Dialogue editor. What are the challenges with dialogue editing a film with lots of action and loud music?

Dialogue editing for action based movie is very particular. First off the production sound mixers are not very helped during shooting and you end up with omf that are hard to work on. Lavs moving, cables, equipment noises and crew feet.

You still need to do a good job and minimise ADR as dialogue will not be the area where producers will be likely to increase budget. 

Regarding emotes, it is very important to clean up as much as you can, and save everything for the ME tracks. Even if you do have budget to ADR a lot of efforts, there is nothing like production emotes to make a fight scene work, even when mixed with adr cues. 

Could you explain emotes? 

Oh sorry, I m using a video game term. In VG we also call them onos (which makes no sense, as a onomatopoeia is writing down a SFX like sound)
But yeah this means "breath and efforts", or anything that s vocalized but not english ( or any original language)

What information do you find useful on sound reports?

- I like to know if there is some wild takes done. 
- I like to read comment or explanations about noise or such in takes
- I like to get room tones takes informations. 
- I like to see microphone usage for each takes. 

Do you find room tone recorded separately useful or is it better to get it from the actual take? 

Room tone recorded separately is great. There is rarely enough RT within takes for what we need to cover: long needed blends of different RT from 2 different angles, crossfades, ARD fill ups and such.. I wish I had some on every project i worked on. If a good RT is provided, I'll even put in on the ME track and it ll end up in the SFX stem with the rest of the background sounds.

It's interesting to see that along with films you also work on game sound with Assassin's Creed: Syndicate Sound Designer (2015) and Assassin's Creed: Unity - Dead Kings. What's the 3 biggest difference between your approach for game sound design and film sound design?

Game sound design is space, not time. This is the main difference when you go from linear media to interactive 3d. Stop thinking fades or volumes, think roll offs. There is a lot of excitement working in games like assassin's creed as with the Wwise audio engines, you can pre mix your sounds with a lot of detail and mimic the level of precision found in films. Attenuation on distance, occlusion behavior with buildings, filters on distance, reverb on distance, and so on... 

Game sound design is feedback. Where linear media is decoration mostly, game sound design needs often to provide a gameplay feedback. For instance : i hit you or I ve been hit. Sound goes beyond art and is part of the gameplay mechanics for the player. 

Game sound design is repetition. A opposed to linear media where on particular sound will be play just once, in games sounds will repeat at some point (when the randoms containers for one given sound has played all his elements). This is something we always keep in mind as you need to provide great sounding sounds, but not sounds that are great sounding once, but after repetitions and blended with other sounds that are also repeating. 

Is pro tools the go to software for games audio? what other programs do you use?

I am a pro tools user, and I keep using it for film work. I have used pro tools for Assassin's creed as the foley studio I recorded my material at used pro tools. But the rest of my team is using nuendo. 

I am slowly moving to nedo for my VG work. It has more features that are helpful for VG productions: batch export with a lot of naming options, which is great. Also recently it got linked to Wwise, the most popular audio engines these days, with the option to open a nuendo sessions by right clicking an integrated audio assets directly in Wwise.