Warner Bros.’ forthcoming ‘A Star Is Born’ remake has accomplished a rare feat in Hollywood: its stars performed the music live on-set. Traditionally actors pre-record songs and lip-synch on set, a far less risky approach to production.
Despite the risks, Bradley Cooper wanted a more innovative approach in his directorial debut. Supervising Sound Editor Alan Murray discussed Cooper’s determination for the choice:
“Bradley Cooper would not have it any other way… He was so driven to making this mix what it is. We worked for almost seven months on the sound, and he was totally into the process and devoted to it in a way few directors would be.”
The film’s music editor, Jason Ruder, commented on the uniqueness of the choice:
“It’s a wild way to work, and there’s definitely risk involved, that’s why most productions, like your “Pitch Perfects,” just hit play on a recording and have the actors mime along. It’s the safest way to go.”
The method of recording involved a lot of technical feats. Ruder continued:
“Every single vocal is live… Every phrase and syllable was a live vocal captured on set. Every single second of reverb or ambiance was live and caught on set.”
While film sound mixes most commonly use eight tracks, ‘A Star is Born’ involved 32-channel mixing boards and the recording of more than 60 unique tracks at a time in order to capture every aspect of the performances. ‘A Star is Born’ is slated for wide release October 5th.