“Tunes of the copier” Making of The Copyist, part 5

Sound production took about a year and a half. There were two reasons for this: on the one hand, the production at this point did not have any money left, which does not help with such an expensive and meticulus workfliw. On the other hand, we did not really know what kind of sound we want. Our concept has not changed: aesthetics should be as clean as possible, using nothing more than photocopying.

The main problem was that while we knew that the soundtrack would come together from the buzz of the machine and the protagonists sounds, we also needed to communicate emotions, which normally is the function of soundtrack. However, scratching, clattering and clicking are not the ideal instruments to showcase feelings. We needed a special type of music, which was hidden, integrating seamlessly into the concept, a kind of vocal curtain that will be able to radiate sensuality to the audience. At the same time, it had to be deeply rooted in the sounds of the copier, to fit in our very clean avant-garde plan.

We had to let three composers go until I finally found composer Levente Markos whom I met while working on a co-production film. From the first moment I knew he was very talented when it came to electronic music, and when I heard his first 10 seconds of demo, I knew we got closer to the solution than during the whole previous year. The music of The Copyist is synthesizer based, but analogue, bodiless, can not really be connected to an instrument, full of distortions, mechanical noises, electronic effects.

We had a better luck with the foley, since in 2015 I was mentored in the 50 Talented Young Hungarians mentor program, where they help internationally outstanding young Hungarians to realize their projects. I met with producer Ági Pataki, and my first request was to help me finish my poor film, which was accelerating rapidly torwards chaos. With Ági Pataki, we got into the prestigious Focus Fox studio, where the sound of our film was finally produced under much better conditions than I have ever hoped for.

We knew from the start that the actors’ sex sounds would only appear in a faint, distorted way, but for that they still had to be recorded. Sound engineer László Reményi recorded this special porn synch for everyone’s great pleasure.

The Copyist’s foley, distortions and sound mixing was performed by Gábor Császár, a sound engineer who had a great influence on the final form of our film. Gábor built the diegetic and non-diegetic sound of the film with great professionalism and talent. He helped bringing the realism of the office closer in the beginning, while guiding it into a completely different world in the end. With his help, the two completely dark scenes were filled with content.

With the voice work completed, 3 years of struggle ended, and a strange, experimental film was born. I can only hope that our audience will like it.  I am very grateful to all the crew members who helped us achieving tis goal, according to their best knowledge and with huge diligence. Although she was not part of the production, but we must mention associate producer Andrea Osvárt, who later became an essential contributor to the film’s festival circle.

Tamás Kőszegi
photos: Diána Nagy

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