"The location is Todd-AO in Los Angeles, the date is 10th March 1998; a bunch of bleary-eyed professionals are working from 9am until midnight seven days a week to complete the final mix on Lost in Space. Shot entirely at England's Shepperton Studios
American Cinematographer 1994/04
between March and July of 1997, directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Matt Le Blanc and Mimi Rogers, this is a high-tech, big-screen update of the 1960s TV series about the trials and tribulations of the space family Robinson together with Dr Zachary Smith and Robbie the Robot. The past few months have seen three temp mixes, multiple editing, the predubs and now the final mix. Today it is Tuesday. On Friday the team is scheduled to fly to London to commence work on the mag mastering. Just over two weeks later Lost in Space will open in the US. . . .
While Eddie Joseph works with a DAR Soundstation, other sound crew personnel were employing Waveframe, Audiovision, Pro Tools and Fairlight. To that end, the MMR8 was the recording medium of choice because of its ability to interface with all of the aforementioned. 'The MMR8 is a great medium,' says Eddie Joseph. 'If you want to do changes on the stage the MMR8 will plug into a Waveframe or whatever, you can do a file edit, put it back again and it's done, and you haven't actually transferred anything out.'
According to Joseph, sound editor Ron Eng convinced everyone that the MMR8 route was the way to go on the Lost in Space project: 'We could do a master and he could then unplug the drive, put it into his Waveframe on the stage and edit, whereas a Fairlight doesn't interface with the editors unless you're using Fairlight. We had a change yesterday on Reel 5, for instance, and it probably took Ronnie 15 minutes to do the form on the three master stems as well as seamlessly fill in some backgrounds. In that way it's incredibly fast.
Plus, I think mixers will enjoy using the MMR8 more and more because they can hear backwards and it locks in instantly. I wish we had more here, we haven't got enough. We've only got about eight and we really need 15. We hang the rest of the predubs on DA-88.' Meanwhile, with the use of Todd-AO's new AMS Neve DFC consoles - installed on 5th December, operational 6th February -
Lost in Space is the first all-digital Hollywood picture (discounting the mag mastering). In this respect the Americans have thus far lagged behind the Europeans, and Chris Jenkins doesn't only put this down to cost-effectiveness. 'Until now, nobody has built a digital desk that can handle film mixing,' he states. 'We've used everything that's out there, because mixing has become so convoluted that we're running two consoles. Even with our bigger boards we're running extra consoles - another 72 inputs or another 38 inputs, like everybody is - and the digital boards that we've used have just been terrible. The monitor busing, the panning; they're all geared towards making records, whereas the DFC is the first all-digital desk that we've seen that can conform to realistic film needs. We had its predecessor - the Logic 2 - in here two years ago and it was terrible . . . ." (quotes from article by Richard Buskin in Studio Sound)
AMS Neve in Burnley, UK, manufactures the DFC and Capricorn digital editing systems.