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Los Angeles, California

HomeAwardsAwards Portfolio: Lora Hirschberg/Finding Neverland

Awards Portfolio: Lora Hirschberg/Finding Neverland

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Skywalker Sound re-recording mixer Lora Hirschberg found working on Finding Neverland – director Marc Forster’s film based on the life of playwright JM Barrie – a very creative process. “I felt I could make a contribution to the emotional life of the film with nuances in the dialogue, music and effects to help carry the audience along their sensory and emotional journey,” says Hirschberg.One of her challenges was going in and out of the fantasy sequences. “It was very important to not jar the audience out of the character’s life they were seeing on the screen but to seamlessly ease them into the fantasy that JM Barrie was experiencing,” she remembers. For Hirschberg, the best approach to creating the emotion of a scene with sound is to collaborate closely with the director. With Finding Neverland, Forster was very specific about what he required emotionally, which was a great aid to the mixing process. “[He gives] direction almost like you are an actor,” she says.Another challenge of the film was how quiet it is. Hirschberg felt that being a period film there was no reason for big sound. The dialogue had to be clean and carry the audience along. Being shot in modern-day London meant that certain sounds, such as anachronistic background noises like plane traffic required considerable sound editing. And with period costumes, the sounds of mics rubbing against fabric had to be separated from the dialogue track.The sound design of the film was innovative. “The scene with the dancing bears at the circus and the doves being released into the sky is very whimsical,” says Hirschberg. “It gave me a chance to build music with the sound of soaring birds and flapping wings.”Hirschberg recently completed work as the re-recording mixer on the same director’s Stay. She is currently working on The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio directed by Jane Anderson

Written by Kathy Anderson

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