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Remote Mix for Love & Hip Hop #SecretsUnlocked

Promo for Love & Hip Hop #SecretsUnlocked

Last month, Love & Hip Hop on VH1 kicked off the new year with a four episode special: Secrets Unlocked. The limited series reunited the cast to discuss 28 seasons of drama, wins, losses, activism, and more. The reunion took place entirely via video chat, making for a more involved post production process than ever before. Flavorlab Sound teamed up with production company, Monami Entertainment, led by producer Mona Scott Young, to provide mix for the special.

Production moved swiftly. There were two shoot days with two casts which put a hard limit on material to work with. In post too, time was of the essence as we crossed into 2021 and episodes were set to be released. Post production supervisor, Stephen Fassl, collaborated with the sound team to give the footage a clear, open, and no-holds-barred feeling.

“We wanted to highlight that this is a look behind the curtain of the glamorous lives of these cast members.”

Stephen Fassl, Post Production Supervisor

Part of the glitz and glamour of Love & Hip Hop past has been in the way it’s been shot and edited. This time, instead of giving the show its usual golden glow, the color team matched the more in depth subject matter with a darker palette. They also sharpened up the images for clarity to make the home spaces pop and emphasize realness. “The style of video, from home, with Zoom, and the behind the scenes subject matter really lent itself to a more raw look,” said Stephen. Additionally, each episode starts with a timecode and production set up to dig into this “making of” theme.

The main challenge the sound team faced lay in the cast being filmed remotely. Many inputs meant many audio levels. Many rooms meant all kinds of clashing tones and ambiences to work around. Connections could get fuzzy, some lines dropped out, and these required additional voice over. The main challenge here was clarity. The special relies on each member of the group reflecting and sharing their perspective. To achieve a feeling of trust and unity, the cast had to sound as though they were in one room together. The team cleaned up and matched the dialogue, achieving the sound of a shared space across many locations.

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