The production sound mixer and the sound designer who worked closely on creating the soundscapes for Normal People discuss their use of sound skills as art and as craft.
Niall O’Sullivan recorded the location sound, which Steve Fanagan mixed in post-production – along with added dialogue, Foley sounds, music and sound effects – to create the final sound.
Fanagan described his task as one of “creating a world soundwise that feels truthful to the world portrayed on screen”.
Two clips illustrated the work of the sound specialists. The first – Marianne and Connell’s first romantic encounter in the former’s family home – was recorded by O'Sullivan with two boom microphones.
The National Film School IADT Dún Laoghaire notched up two wins in the main categories, taking home awards in the Drama category for Starry Night and in Short Form for Looking For.
These two films picked up further awards in the Craft Skills categories, with Jack Desmond winning the Cinematography prize (Looking For) and Lori Stacey the award for Editing (Starry Night).
For the one-hour film, director Hilary Fennell followed seven artists attempting to have their work accepted for Ireland’s most important open-call art show, the Royal Hibernian Academy Summer Exhibition.
It was the first time cameras have been allowed behind the scenes at the 196-year-old Royal Hibernian Academy, including access to the judging process. The film was broadcast on RTÉ One in June 2019.
Remaining “local” in terms of story, themes and talent was key. In fact, Paul Marquess – MD of PGM TV and a veteran of soaps including Brookside and Hollyoaks – argued that what worked, in his experience, was being “very local”.
Marquess said: “It is much harder to build a franchise with global appeal… but there is a huge appetite for quality English-speaking drama.” He called for more locally produced drama in Dublin, adding: “This is a cool place!”