A Little ADR Goes a Long Way
Some people call it “Automated Dialogue Replacement” or “Additional Dialogue Replacement”, but everyone agrees that it is called “ADR” for short.
Find out what it is, why it’s important and how it is used here on VOX Daily.
What is ADR?
Who Uses ADR?
Generally, ADR is standard for big budget films and Hollywood blockbusters, in other words, films that need to be as professional and clean as possible for mass audience consumption at the box office and beyond.
Who Decides What Needs ADR?
Prior to an ADR session, technicians at the film’s post-production facility of choice team up to check for any vocal mishaps or unusable lines; this effort is called a “spotting” session. Once areas that need ADR are identified, the team divvies up the work and sets out to book actors for ADR sessions.
How is ADR Done?
If there are lines or words that weren’t delivered properly (or as desired by the director) ADR sessions take place and the actor (or hired voice actor doing the voice match on the ADR) is required to record the lines in question so that the replacement audio can be edited into the film. Many takes are recorded to get the perfect delivery that will be used in the final version of the film.
Why is ADR Important?
As we noticed earlier, ADR is important because it can present a pristine image and seamless production with minimal effort considering the massive size of the overall project.
ADR is also necessary because there are often two different versions of a film made, one for the theatres and DVDs but also another version usually for airing on television that may need to have certain words censored. For example, a substitute word may be included to replace a curse or swear word.
In rare instances, ADR can even be recorded to help complete a film when an actor has passed away before their ADR session or the film is re-mastered decades after the initial filming and a voice match is needed.
Cool Facts About ADR
- ADR sessions can take place on special ADR sound stages
- Voice actors have the ability to make very good money performing ADR for celebrities
- The SAG union pay scale for an ADR session is at least $466.00 (SAG ADR rate from 2005).
- Anthony Hopkins recorded some ADR for the late Laurence Olivier in the re-mastered version of Sparticus
Do you have any experience with ADR? Let us know by adding a comment!
Looking forward to hearing your stories,
Photo via the Columbia Academy Website, Studio B