Film School Friday – What is ADR?

What is ADR Episode Summary

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about ADR or automated dialogue replacement.

What is ADR Episode Notes

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about ADR or automated dialogue replacement.

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What is ADR Transcript

Corey Allen  00:05

Welcome to Film School Friday. I’m Corey, I’m Bill and together,

Bill Cornelius  00:10

we host the infocus podcast.

Corey Allen  00:13

Film School Friday is our special weekly episode where we try to pass along a little bit of knowledge, wisdom, experience nuggets of info, some may say expertise. Yes, I’m not some I don’t have expertise

Bill Cornelius  00:29


Corey Allen  00:30

Thank you. I appreciate that. Bill this week, I’d like to talk about something in the world of audio. Yes. Will acronym referred to as a D are

Bill Cornelius  00:43

correct. ADR stands for automated dialogue replacement. So fancy sometimes called dubbing, like dub stepping? No, no. Okay. Not quite right. I don’t actually know where dub stuffing comes from, but probably has a similar origins, not ADR? Yeah. But dubbing is the more layman’s term, the more common word that people know if you’ve seen anything that was in a foreign language, or it’s dubbed in English, it’s dubbed.

Corey Allen  01:14

Yeah. So what’s interesting, and maybe, you know, this may be adult ADR, being automated, what I know of dubbing is an automated a damn bit.

Bill Cornelius  01:25

And that’s the thing, when I first heard about ADR and college, and what it stood for, I thought to myself, there is absolutely nothing automated about this process. This is a manual process, a rigorously manual process.

And honestly, my professor did not know why it was called that. And I looked it up before we recorded the show and I still didn’t find an answer to why it’s called Automated, it just is. But, you know, dubbing ADR, a lot of people don’t even know what ADR stands for anymore. They just know what it is. So it’s just become its own word, by itself. But anyway, it’s it’s dubbing.

It’s, you know, at the base level when you’re not doing, you know, like I said, the obvious thing is the foreign language, dubbing it in a different language. But ADR is also used very heavily for when onset audio is not clean. And you need some clean audio. And this is done more often than you would think. In fact, a lot of Hollywood films are quite ADR, if that’s even a word, anybody common, yes, it’s very common.

In fact, large percentages of the movies, you go out and enjoy and love, a lot of the dialogue has been recorded later. I mean, it’s recorded on set, obviously. But yeah, it’s been cleaned up later. And as an audio booth, and so what that involves is, let’s say, you have a shoot outside. You know, you can’t control the environment, a lot of times, trees, knockin birds, chirping, planes, flying, all those wonderful things that the audio recorders just loves. And sometimes you just got to get the shot.

Or maybe you’re in a really small room with bad acoustics, and there’s a lot of echoing and you just have to suck it up and do it, you can’t use that audio, ultimately, it’s not clean. And so what will happen is the the actor that was speaking, and that scene will go back later on and post to a like a recording studio VoiceOver booth, and they’ll have the footage in front of them on playback. And they’re basically dubbing their own performance and they’ll just loop that

Corey Allen  03:49

scene over and over. And that just the actor will just get multiple takes of the same line. The same set of lines. Yeah.

Bill Cornelius  03:59

Which, you know, hats off to them, because there’s scenes worth, you know, a dialogue scene could be pretty emotional, or involve a lot of stamina that they had on set. And I have to replicate that in a sound booth later

Corey Allen  04:15

in a very calm not in the moment setting.

Bill Cornelius  04:19

Yeah. And so that’s an enormous skill for actors to go through and a challenge. I know that a lot of them are down for. But, you know, we’ve done some ADR, I’ve done some ADR, we we did some for your lucky scruff commercial years ago because we shot in a really small bathroom with horrible acoustics. And so we had Chris, who was the actor and it come in later, and we had Mike Stryker, who’s been on the show who actually did the recording.

And he kept having it was it’s so meticulous when you go through it sometimes especially for something like a small 30 second spot, like the way he would say things just like what was the phrase at the end of the commercial? Go ahead. And striker kept having Chris say, Go ahead repeatedly and Chris would Chris v into the mic, you’d be like, go ahead. And striker would go. Go ahead, Go ahead, Go ahead, Go ahead, Go ahead, Go ahead.

And it would just be back and forth. You would see striker playing this, like, half second clip. And just like he had to nail perfectly the movement of his own mouth, right. And so it’s, it’s a meticulous job. So yes, back to the automated part of it. Now, not so much when it is automated, that’s going to save people a lot of time and a lot of work. If

Corey Allen  05:51

if you’re listening, and you know, the history, and why it is referred to as automated.

Bill Cornelius  05:57

That would be a great thing to find out, please let us know. Yeah.

Corey Allen  06:01

Email us. Hello at Yeah.

Bill Cornelius  06:05

And sometimes this is a really funny note about dubbing an ADR and I don’t know if this is done so much anymore with the streaming Advent, but you know, back when movies were censored for TV, they would they would a lot of times have somebody who wasn’t the original actor come in and just dub over the curse word and be like you mother fudge Lenio it’d be like a different act. And it was always so bad.

Corey Allen  06:34

I’m sick of these mother fudging snakes on this mother fledging plane. Yeah.

Bill Cornelius  06:38

But it would be someone who clearly was not that actor. But that’s a form of dubbing and ADR. So there’s a lot of different approaches to that and ways that’s done. Yeah. Sometimes dialogue is rewritten, and changes, especially if it’s off camera. That’s sometimes done in ADR. And so

Corey Allen  06:58

like if you have like a dirty over the shoulder or just Yeah, where we know you’re speaking, but your mouth is actually on camera. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah.

Bill Cornelius  07:08

And sometimes the director wants to change the inflection. Maybe they didn’t get the inflection they wanted on set. And it’s still gonna read visually no matter what they do. Yeah. So they change the inflection. A lot of different factors. Sounds like a lot of work.

Oh, yeah. So next time you watched the big Marvel movie that you like, keep in mind that every single actor in that film went back to a voiceover booth at some point after being on set and re recorded every single one of their lines. Yeah, props. Do it for the art. Yes.

Corey Allen  07:41

Nice. Anything else? I

Bill Cornelius  07:42

think that’s it. Are you sure? Am I missing something? No. I’ve got me questioning myself now. Yes.

Corey Allen  07:50

Mission accomplished. All right. Well, for our listeners, make sure you check us out on Instagram at infocus pod or online. infocus podcast comm Bill. Thanks again for all the knowledge bombs. Hey, I try. You try real hard and you deliver real hard. Thanks. I think we’ll

Bill Cornelius  08:12

just re record this later in the day. You can read up this.

Corey Allen  08:15

If you liked what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. If you’re on Apple podcasts, make sure you leave us a rating. It would help us out a ton. We’d love you for it. And until next time.

Bill Cornelius  08:26

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