Monday, April 5, 2010

M. Schérer lookin' smoove

"When it came to the editing of the sound, it took months! Rohmer was thrifty, but he was not sparing of his time. A year before the shoot, he would go to the exact location, and start recording all the ambient sounds – birds, dogs, cars, etc… – at the exact month and even week that the shooting was supposed to take place. This is why the sound editing took so long, for the Master was a real stickler about accuracy. You couldn’t put the recording of a summer fly taken in June on the soundtrack of a film shot in July and August. You had to find the exact recording of the flies buzzing through the landscapes in July and August! In those days, apart from Michel Fano and Antoine Bonfanti, film professionals had not yet constituted sound effect libraries – but you had private sound collectors, regular people (often doctors…) who recorded the sound of animals, birds, flies, dogs etc… All day long, in the editing room, I was splicing these little bits of magnetic tapes – and there were so many of them! It was really like the delicate, minute work of a seamstress, or a lacemaker. Meanwhile Rohmer was on the phone calling doctors in Rouen or Poitiers to inquire if they had sounds of this specific fly, or of this chaffinch that would sing only between two and five…"

--Jackie Raynal, "When Rohmer Was Making 'Silent Films'"

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