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Noise 2007

Producer Trevor Blainey comments on 'Noise’

Matthew Saville and I first met on a film set in 1997, and in September 2002 we completed and delivered to SBSi a 50-minute film called Roy Höllsdotter Live. Getting that film into production was the culmination of several years of hard work and the forerunner of the much more ambitious project we had called Noise.

With Noise we always set out to make an international feature film. A film that would be Australian to its core but which we wanted to show to an international audience. Matt and I agreed at the outset on some basic issues that we would adhere to throughout.

The film had to look and sound special. A starting point for this aim was to engage the services of one of Australia’s foremost production designers in Paddy Reardon. Matt had greatly admired Paddy’s work on Chopper (2000) and the two of them worked hard to make the film’s central location of a police surveillance caravan look interesting for what would end up being about 40% of the film’s scenes. Those who have seen the film can attest to the fact that this challenge was completely satisfactorily met.

It had to be shot on 35mm film using the best processing and finishing techniques we could afford. To that end we engaged the services of Laszlo Baranyai as the cinematographer. He had had a long association with Matt and had shot Roy Höllsdotter Live (2003) for us, for which he was justly acclaimed. We had the unstinting and generous support of Melbourne laboratory Cinevex, with whom we were able to use their new Digital Intermediate facilities to make the film truly beautiful to watch. In working closely with Laszlo and Matt, Cinevex grader Ian Letcher showed a great deal of care and skill to give the film its exceptional look.

We had to allow enough time and budget resources to enable us to make the sound design a unique feature of the film. Melbourne sound house Music and Effects provided us with the great talents of their designer, Emma Bortignon, and mixer, Doron Kipen. Together with the film’s music composer, Bryony Marks, they created a wonderful soundscape for the film that has become, in effect, another character in the world of Noise.

Of course Noise has also been created from a wonderful, highly acclaimed and award-winning script, but to assist us in the storytelling we were able to work again with Geoff Hitchins as the film’s editor. Although it was Geoff’s first feature, his input into reshaping Matt’s vision in the edit suite allowed us to re-imagine the script in a thrilling way that pays off brilliantly on the promise that the script always held.

And finally Matt’s work with our sensational cast, many of whom were appearing in a feature for the first time, ensured that Noise is not just a fantastic technical achievement, which it undoubtedly is, but that it is, at its heart, a beautiful and gut-wrenching journey through the lives of ordinary people coming to grips with the aftermath of terrible events.

In every way Noise has been, and will remain, a special project for those who worked on it.

Trevor Blainey Producer

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