Travel consideration provided. This is a partnered post.
Our group was ushered into the sound studio and took turns recording lines for a short Trolls clip. The recording process went like this: When you step into the sound booth, you watch the footage on a monitor and listen to the dialogue from the cartoon; then, when it’s time to record, you listen carefully for three beeps, which let you know it’s your cue to start. You hear the original voiceover through headphones while you record and try to match the pace of the dialogue as much as possible – this type of overdubbing is known as ADR, or Automated Dialog Replacement. This process of re-recording dialogue can occur for a number of reasons: For example, I was told during a studio tour in LA a few years ago that Meryl Streep is the unofficial queen of ADR, and often re-records her lines after filming to make them perfect or nail an accent. In this particular instance, ADR was used to give each blogger the chance to create their own special Trolls clip for their blogs!
We were given the choice of which character we wanted to play, Branch or Poppy. Of course, I chose Poppy, the pink troll! This was the same sound studio that Anna Kendrick recorded her lines in for the Trolls movie, so I was in the perfect place to channel Poppy. Each blogger stepped into the booth one by one and read their lines off a sheet, trying to keep up with the timing of the original clip. As you can imagine, ADR can be a little tricky; it’s disorienting to hear the dialogue while simultaneously trying to say the exact same lines and keep the same pacing. Matt Beans did a fantastic job of guiding each person – he’s experienced in animation, previously working on series such as Robot Chicken, and it shows in his approach. He took his time with each person, not only coaching us on the basics of how ADR works, but also having us do multiple takes just so that he could get the best possible performance, even if the previous take was usable. Here’s a video of my recording session, where you can hear his voice instructing me:
Trolls: The Beat Goes On! premieres on Netflix on January 19th!