Funny Boy, the latest film from acclaimed director Deepa Mehta traveled the world before landing with Sim’s Post Production team in Toronto.
Unfortunately, it landed just as the world – and Toronto – was shutting down due to the Coronavirus. That presented a unique set of challenges for dialogue editor David McCallum and sound effects editor Jane Tattersall.
“It was a truly magical journey,” says Deepa, of Funny Boy, the adaptation of Toronto-area author Shyam Selvadurai’s book about a young Sri Lankan man coming to terms with his homosexuality.
“I always thought you all were a formidable team, but on Funny Boy, despite the pandemic, you have outdone yourselves and left me speechless.”
Funny Boy, explains Sim’s SVP Post Production Jane Tattersall, was shot in Sri Lanka and picture edited in Spain. When it came time for her and dialogue editor David McCallum to start the sound edit in Toronto, studios were shutdown from Mumbai to Colombo to Toronto.
“Nothing was open, and none of the actors could travel,” she says. “David had to work so hard to find ways around ADR (replacement dialogue). The actors were redoing their lines into iPhones, and he was telling them to go into different rooms, or their closet, to try and get the sound to match”.
But David, Jane, and re-recording mixer Lou Solakofski’s creativity and technical savvy saved the day and delivered a product that surpassed all of Deepa’s expectations.
“I still can’t believe that those awful location dialogues are now so crystal clear. The ADR doesn’t feel for a moment like it was recorded on cell phones halfway across the world,” she says. “Then, to top it all, the sound design was sublime – so distinctive, so clear, so inventive.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Jane was equally appreciative of Deepa’s efforts.
“If there is anyone who could direct and finish a film during a pandemic, it’s Deepa Mehta,” she says. “Deepa is a force – powerful, focused, and wonderfully gracious. It’s always a privilege to work with her.”
Jane has been collaborating with Deepa since her 2012 film Midnight’s Children and says the entire Sim team is anticipating Funny Boy’s release on Netflix this December. The film will also receive a theatrical release in Canada and select cities in the U.S. that month.
“We all feel and expect that Funny Boy will earn an Oscar nomination,” Jane says. “And everyone at Sim will be behind it every step of the way.”