4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Sounding Out Alan Collins & Niall Brady
12 May 2010 :
John Michael McDonagh’s 'The Guard'
The merger of Ardmore Sound and Screen Scene announced in March of this year by their Chiefs Paul Moore and Jim Duggan saw both post houses pooling their sound talent and resources. IFTN caught up with Ardmore Sound’s Alan Collins and Screen Scene’s Niall Brady to find out how the companies are finding life post merger.

Just two months in and Ardmore Sound’s Alan Collins tells IFTN the merger has proved a very good decision. “It’s going very well,” he says, "what’s most exciting is the merged infrastructure and talent pool has made SOUND stronger and more able to stand alone in the post process, there is a real sense of shared sound experience between the two companies. Obviously, instead of competing with each other we’re now collaborating with each other on all the projects we’re working on and there’s a lot more work that we can get done. Agreeing with Collins’ assessment, Brady concluded, “it has been an exciting development as now we collectively bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity to every production we do.”

Bustling with activity, the post houses are collaborating on a number of current projects. Screen Scene are working on both sound and picture for Dearbhla Walsh’s drama, ‘The Silence’ which is being mixed by Ken Galvin, while all the Foley recording is taking place at Ardmore Sound’s Foley Theatre. Work is also underway on John Michael McDonagh’s feature film ‘The Guard’ starring Brendan Gleeson, which Niall is cutting at the moment. The ADR for the film is being recorded at both facilities, the Foley in Ardmore Sound and it will be mixed on the Main Stage at Ardmore Sound. Michelle Cunniffe has just finished pre-mixing Element Pictures’ international co-production ‘The Essence of Killing’, which will be final mixed in early June and, finally, work is well underway for Ripple World Pictures’ ‘Lapland Odyssey’ which began mixing this week.

Niall who was putting the finishing touches to Element Pictures ‘All Good Children’ during the merger explains that the move has allowed for greater flexibility and wider choice when meeting the sound requirements of any production. “On ‘All Good Children’ we final mixed the film in Screen Scene and then did our Dolby print-master on the main stage in Ardmore Sound. At the moment I’m trying to organise an ISDN ADR recording session with a sound studio in L.A., there are a couple of different protocols for ISDN, between the two companies we can now offer all the options.”

Quite aside from all of the titles mentioned above, work is underway on another important joint venture for the post houses – the building of a second new 5.1 high end drama mixing theatre at Screen Scene. Alan explains why this move is the next necessary step in further cementing the venture: “Before the merger Ardmore Sound had a base in the city centre for mixing drama which is now closed and which we’re moving into Screen Scene. We thought it made more sense to consolidate our city centre resources in the one location. There is a large space in Screen Scene to relocate it, so that made the most sense. The room we’ll have there will be bigger than the largest theatre in Screen Scene and smaller than the big theatre in Bray so we’ll end up with a great mid-sized mixing theatre which will be perfect for high end drama.”

The new mixing space will feature a ProTools ICON mixing console, Dolby 5.1 monitoring with JBL cinema speakers, and High-Def projection. As Niall explains “it’ll be great for high end drama and medium budget feature film work that wouldn’t be suitable for the main stage in Ardmore but still calls for a large mixing room.”

So it is full steam ahead for both Dublin post houses and Niall tells us that their ambitions don’t stop at Irish post-production projects: “The plan is to continue to do very high-end TV and feature work in Ireland, and hopefully also go out and get more work from abroad,” he says. “I mean we both have good brand reputations overseas and that’s strengthened now, following the merger.”

One of the big drama series that Screen Scene and Ardmore Sound will be working on this summer is six episodes of the new RTÉ/ITV production ‘Single Handed’.

For more information about the work of both companies visit www.screenscene.ie or www.ardmoresound.ie

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