The Zombie Casserole Chronicles – Part Eleven

Over the past few months, we’ve been busily churning away at sound and video post-production.  This has resulted in a number of character-building and learning moments.  There’s a vast difference between chunking out four to five minute web videos and making a thirty minute short film.

One of our more painful lessons was that you should really avoid crossing platforms when working on video projects.  John and I do all of our editing using Adobe Premiere Pro on Windows, but Shmoolie does all the sound editing and music using Logic on a Mac.  We send lo-res MP4’s back and forth all the time over DropBox to make sure we’re all seeing the same thing.  In order for the sound to get properly mixed, Shmoolie needed separate audio tracks.  We had four, so we figured that since we were sharing MP4’s, we’d just create AAC files (the same format in our MP4’s) and send them over to Shmoolie.  What could possibly go wrong?

It turns out that since AAC is heavily compressed. Although the format is public, different software packages use different algorithms to compress/decompress.  Since Shmoolie needed to work using uncompressed sound, we discovered that the decompression algorithms on the Mac seriously degraded the sound quality and also resulted in some sync issues. 

After a few more false tries, we finally managed to settle on us sending the tracks as WAV files, and Shmoolie would send back a mixed AIF we would then sync to the main project.  It took us days to get here.  I would also note that to even get to this point we had to lock down the main video project. Once sound mixing commences, we can’t change anything or we invalidate Shmoolie’s projects as all the sound would then go out of sync.

We’ve done a number of the back and forths at this point and are getting closer to a final mix; however, as we got closer the Wizard World 2013 Comic-Con in Philly, we decided it would be a good idea to show a trailer for Zombie Casserole at our table.  I knocked out what ended up being the final trailer in a couple of evenings of work, and over the course of a couple of more evenings, Shmoolie knocked out several different soundtracks and mixes for us to choose from.  For some reason a one-minute project is a lot simpler to deal with than a thirty minute project.

You can see the results below.

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