Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


July 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I had initially planned to write about character versus story in regards to the upcoming Dark Knight Rises. It was going to be about the intertwined story from Batman Begins and the incredible characterizations from The Dark Knight. But in light of this morning’s events, that hardly seems appropriate.

In Aurora, Colorado a man thought he could become one of the characters from The Dark Knight. Now 12 people are dead and over 60 are injured. This man has taken away lives, security, and has damaged the perception of an entire industry. This is a tragic event and everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims in Aurora, Colorado.

Categories: Uncategorized

A Long-Awaited Update

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

For frequent readers, you’ve probably noticed the blog has been inactive for a while now. Fear not! Most of my efforts lately have been going towards getting my podcast, Zac Hogle Teaches You Life up and running. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can find it at or you can subscribe in iTunes here.

This is just a short update to let everyone know that, with the podcast going strong, I’m back and working on new material for again. Thanks to everybody for all the support!

Categories: Uncategorized

Levelling Dialogue in Post Production

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s a consistent question I come across in the world of post production: how do I level my voice tracks against my music and FX tracks? Now, I’m not going to go into the specifics of levels, there are enough posts and information on that elsewhere. Also, nobody ever really seems to completely agree on what the number are. Instead, I will be discussing my ideas on the theory of levelling audio.

There are many different schools of thought on how to level audio for different scenarios. How one would level audio in a humorous, dialogue heavy scene would differ from how one would level in a scene that is considered heavy drama. So, this leaves the question: where do you start? For editing purposes, I always start by levelling my audio so the music and FX tracks are well below the voice tracks. When the goal is getting your story made, this is always the place to start.

For the most part, after that it becomes just an issue of making sure the music and FX tracks don’t interfere. I make sure my voice is within safe levels, and then bring up the music and FX tracks until it feels natural.

The tricky part is when you have a particularly important piece of dialogue in a scene and you need musical or FX support to give it that extra oomph. We obviously don’t want all our audio sounding like On the Waterfront, so what do you do? I’m a big believer in using your music to slightly drown out your voice. It’s a very finicky process, because you don’t want the audio hard to hear but you want the viewer to have to pay attention to what is being said. If you are able to slightly bury the voice in the music, then the viewer will pay closer attention than they normally will to hear. This forces them to not just hear the dialogue, but to actually listen to it.

By employing this technique at key moments in your film, audiences will gain a better understanding of what’s happening, and are less likely to have to ask someone what’s going on.

It’s not in depth by any means, but it’s my two cents on a simple way to make your dialogue really count.

The scene from On the Waterfront I’m referring to is around the 1:00 mark in the below video.

Categories: Uncategorized
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