Editing Production Sound for Documentaries

If dialogue occasionally assumes a supporting role in dramatic film sound editing—quietly toiling away in the shadow of its sexier sound effects, music, and Foley colleagues—it’s at center stage when it comes to documentary films. Documentary is a hopelessly broad genre, including anything from straightforward news docs to wildly stylized films that are largely recreations, from concerts to cinéma vérité glimpses into someone’s life. Nevertheless, although they cover a wide spectrum, documentaries are for the most part overwhelmingly dialogue driven. Many have soundtracks that consist of little more than production sound, however edited it may be.

Documentary Sound Challenges

Dialogue editing ...

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