Irish co-produced animated feature ‘Niko II: A Family Affair’ has entered post-production with sound post currently being carried out at Ardmore Sound.
Ardmore’s Patrick Drummond (About Adam, Boy Eats Girl) is the supervising sound editor and is heading up a team of 10 people who are working on sound design and sound post for the €7.3m feature.
The team are currently four weeks into a five to six week edit with mixing due to begin on July 9 and continue for roughly three-and-a-half weeks. Foley on the feature is also underway and is expected to last two weeks.
John Fitzgerald and Steve Fanagan are working as re-recording mixers with the team; Aza Hand is collaborating on sound design with Drummond; Michelle McCormack is the dialogue editor and Colm Mullally is the sound assistant
Foley is being looked after by foley artists Caoimhe Doyle and Eoghan McDonnell, while Jean McGrath is the foley recordist. Rachel Donovan is looking after administration for the Ardmore Sound team.
Speaking to IFTN, Patrick Drummond spoke of his excitement in working on the project: “It’s been busy but it’s going great. The director (Kari Juusonen) is coming over next week from Finland as we’re approaching the mixing stage. We’ve worked with him before on the first ‘Niko’ movie. He likes the sound design we’ve sent him so far, so that’s been good.
“As we’ve worked with the director previously, we know what’s in his head sound-wise. It can be very interpretive on animation because you might have the sound of a wolf’s growl. But there has to be some human element in it too, because the wolf starts talking in the film. We always have to make that bridge. That’s our challenge in sound design, to make that bridge between the real wolf talking and the human voice of the actor so as to ease the audience into the transition. Because we’ve worked on ‘Niko’ before, we kind of know where we’re going.”
Adding of the mixing stage, Drummond said: “It’s a huge soundtrack on ‘Niko II’ and it’s so much fun to mix out here at Ardmore. We’ve got the big mixing stage, which the director’s love when they come out here because you can really get a feel for what it will sound like on the big screen. It kind of blows you away, so Ardmore Sound really is valuable in that sense. The stage here has got that big Hollywood feel.”
Galway-based Tidal Films Ltd are co-producing the animated feature sequel alongside Finland’s Animaker Oy, Denmark’s A-Film and Germany Ulysses Film.
Work on an original score for the movie is also underway with 2007 IFTA-winner and composer Stephen McKeon (The Tiger’s Tail) returning to score the feature. McKeon previously composed the score for the first Niko movie, ‘Niko & The Way to the Stars’.
A team of six animators at Tidal Films Ltd have looked after roughly one third of the animation on the feature, which was written by Hannu Tuomainen (One Way Ticket to Mombasa) and Marteinn Thorisson (Summer of the Flying Saucer).
Further post-production on the feature will be carried out in Germany with the feature due to be delivered to Finnish distributors Nordisk Film in September. The feature will receive its world premiere in October in Finland, before opening in Germany, France and Denmark in late 2012. Negotiations on releases in other territories, including Ireland, are underway.
‘Niko II: A Family Affair’ follows a young reindeer boy called Niko. Set the night before Christmas, Niko the reindeer must deal with his mom getting re-married and his being tasked with looking after his little stepbrother.
The project is directed by Kari Juusonen (The Flight Before Christmas) and Joergen Lerdam (Olsen Gang Gets Polished). Irish producer on the project is Moe Honan (Ooops Noah is Gone!) who is producing the feature for Tidal Films Ltd.
The feature has received funding from the Finnish Film Foundation, the Irish Film Board, YLE and TV2 Denmark. It will be distribute in Finland by Nordisk Film in late 2012.
Tidal Films Ltd are currently raising finance for their next animated feature, ‘Ooops, Noah Is Gone,’ which will be co-produced by Germany’s Ulysses Film.