Last week we recorded ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) for my movie 'Stano'. I am no fan of this process as I can almost always tell, while watching a movie, when it's been done. Even well performed and well-mixed ADR never quite sits realistically for me and actor's performances are rarely improved by asking them to stand in a recording studio, stare at themselves on the screen and attempt to fit dialogue into their on-screen mouths in precisely the right rhythm so as to achieve 'perfect' lip sync (and somehow act at the same time).  Some actors don't mind doing it, some hate it. The only actor I've ever heard of who demands to ADR his whole performance is Al Pacino. He claims it gives him a second chance at improving his performance. I can't imagine his first pass is in need of this tune-up but who knows? Perhaps his performance actually is better, though I think it might be safer to say that its a bit different.

I generally only re-record lines that are clearly damaged by severe background noise and am usually pleasantly surprised at how well most actors do with it, even the ones who don't like doing it. But I still can tell when I'm seeing it in a movie, even if it's well done. And when it's not well done, as in the above clip from 'The Great Gatsby', it's an atrocity. As seasoned an actor as DiCaprio is, he either didn't give a crap about doing a better job or didn't have time...or just isn't that good at it...or protested the need to do it by intentionally funking the job. Was Baz Lurhman not there on the day? Perhaps the two weren't speaking. Or perhaps they were just no longer creatively in sync. Har. Get it?

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