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Avid at the 2011 NAB Show: TRON Legacy Producer and Sound Mixer Talk Teamwork

Avid has had some of the biggest stars and brightest minds in the industry grace it's stage at NAB, and yesterday Avid's Matt Feury had the pleasure of hosting Steve Gaub, producer, and Garry Russo, sound mixer of TRON Legacy for a main stage interview. They talked about the challenges they faced during production, the workflows they employed, and what it took to pull off a film of this complexity in such a short period of time.

Steve explained how the team dealt with such a compressed production schedule. "68 days of shooting, and 68 weeks of post," he pointed out. "That might sound long, but if you asked the effects guys what they thought about the schedule, they would have said it was an impossibly short time." This challenge proved to be something the team could adapt to, employing some careful staging, efficient network solutions, and some very good production management. They could even proceed with some sequences of low-res rendering actually standing is as substitutes right up to the end, so they could be cutting the film and working on the sound while the animation was still be rendered. Working with flexible and adaptable Avid solutions like Media Composer and Pro Tools the team was able to take it all in stride.

"We could even go back after elements had been finalized," explained Garry, "and make changes after the fact when we saw how the scenes were changing during production." He continued, "Audio is the emotional content of a scene, and as that scenes changes, we could go back a layer in Pro Tools and make a tweak here and an adjustment there to mirror the change."

TRON Legacy began as a conceptual teaser shown and Comic-Con in San Diego in 2008 without yet having been given the green light by Sony Pictures. The studio wanted to gauge the crowd's reaction and the online response to determine the market. "There was a strong interest," explained Steve.

"Because of this trial run with the teaser, we were able to retain the audio team, which gave us a huge head start on workflows," continued Garry. He explained how the team used scalable solutions throughout the "hybrid production," as he called it. They went from in the box to out of the box, and from small workspaces to Skywalker Sound as required, always adapting their workflows to the demands of the project.

"What was most important was teamwork" Garry concluded. He drove home how good teams bring understanding and communication to a produciton, and how teamwork can deliver success and efficiency within interoperable workflows, even with last minute changes.

Thanks so much to Garry Russo and Steve Gaub for taking the time to share their knowledge and experience with us at NAB. Stay tuned to Avid Buzz for more from the show floor.

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