AN INVISIBLE ART

God bless dialogue editors! They truly are the masters of an invisible art; when their work is very very good it is un-noticeable. I have worked with many different dialogue editors over the years and most of them have been good, but only a few have been very good…
The difference? In my opinion a good dialogue editor makes the dialogue work ie technically cuts, splits & fills production audio, splits production FX, cues ADR & breaths, attends ADR recording & fits ADR & wildlines and attends the dialogue predub…
But a very good dialogue editor does all of the above plus has a crucial/critical understanding of story. It might be an extra line they suggest in a scene that helps exposition or any number of subtle but critical additions but the very good contribute more than just a technically well presented dialogue session to the predub. It takes maturity & experience but as with sound effects it also takes an innate sense of what is required, of what could help make the story clearer…
Sadly when the dialogue in a film is not good it can ruin the movie, but the reasons for bad dialogue can be many & varied: bad production audio, minimal ADR budget, bad ADR (ie actors who cannot recreate a realistic performance in an ADR studio), lack of experience with the sound recordist/dialogue editor/editor/director….
Anyway apart from gaining experience or asking advice (always wise & often only costs a bottle of wine etc) I also just read on gearslutz post forum of a new book on the art of dialogue editing…. check it out:

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