As MacFarlane’s trusted sound facility, Technicolor was enlisted once again for sound design, editorial, ADR, Foley, and mixing after servicing Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West. For Ted 2, the team had to adhere to a much tighter schedule than the first film, with production starting in February, and final mixing occurring in April through May. The team got a jump start on the project during the production process in order to retrieve early feedback from MacFarlane. Supervising sound editor and designer Elliott Koretz collaborated with MacFarlane to design the sound to ensure Technicolor delivered MacFarlane’s sound vision.
Working with a CGI character like Ted yields excitement and challenges because the sound is designed from scratch. Koretz explains, “since Ted is not a real person, the sound design required great attention to detail. The use of Foley and layer after layer of sound helped make him feel real.” Koretz continues, “in comedy, every word is precious. A very specific sound design is created to enhance the jokes, but not tip them off. The sound shouldn’t interfere with the dialogue or give away the punchline.”
The Foley on the film was provided by artists Alicia Stevenson and Dawn Fintor, and mixer David Jobe. The team greatly enjoyed bringing Ted to life by creating comedy-enhancing sounds including the squeaking of a raincoat, the characters falling off a balcony, scuba diving, a shelf falling on Mark Walberg’s character, and a variety of smashes and crashes. Reverberations and atmospheric sounds were also added to enhance the realism and convince the audience that Ted is in the same room with the other characters.
The film was then passed on to mixing with Technicolor’s sound re-recording mixers Terry Porter and Marc Fishman, who completed the final soundscape for the film’s release. Mr. Porter explains that “one of the biggest challenges was achieving the right balance between dialogue, music and effects. Another was working with Seth MacFarlane – he has incredible hearing, perfect pitch and he knows exactly what he wants. With the dialogue tracks, he didn’t want a lot of sound effects or background, so we had to make the production sound tracks crystal clear. He was very particular about how he wanted the sound crafted and I absolutely loved the challenge.”