“These iconic women are connecting in a really stripped down, raw way. We hear them have conversations we don’t normally hear women openly talk about. Partially because of the standards we put on ourselves, as women, and partially because of the standards of society. Being at the helm of all that, I took it really seriously,” explains Kadine. “And it’s on a platform like Disney+ where children are watching. They’re impressionable. I remember being a kid and listening to my aunts talk about life and trying to understand how they existed in the world. The way the show was shot, those wide angles, is supposed to feel a bit like a child sneaking into the room. Authenticity can often get lost, especially in an age when we’re communicating through little boxes. I wanted these multi-generational conversations and messages of feminine empowerment and inclusion to come through.”
“I wanted the viewer to feel like they snuck into the room and got a chance to be privy to this vulnerable, open conversation.”
Kadine Anckle, Executive Producer
Part of that “in the moment” is feeling is the location. Across four episodes, Robin and her guests get personal on the back patio and open-door sun room of a house in LA. A plane flying over head, a bracelet clinking mid-sentence, a bird flapping in the trees. “It wasn’t just dead room tone like a typical indoor talk show. We wanted to achieve that classic talk show feel, while bring this new, heartfelt, outdoorsy feeling to it. These locations required more thought,” explains re-recording mixer, Eric Stern. Aiming for clarity first, the team used the Izotope RX Advanced suite plugins, among others, to solve typical noise issues. They mostly kept a light touch, however, to preserve the natural environment.
As with any talk show, the star is dialogue. For moments when people talked over one another, the engineers controlled for bleed. They also prioritized a microphone, like we might naturally listen for the main speaker over another person. To give each guest warmth and brilliance in their voice, to match, but stand out in the cozy atmosphere, engineers employed a cocktail of multi-band compression, a low-end noise reducer, and a transient master plugin.
“The challenge with the dialogue was what we should use,” says assistant editor, Brett Aresco. “Or, there were so many good moments that, I should say what we should cut. Between our two amazing editors and Kadine, there were strong feelings on what to keep. A few moments really made themselves obvious. Debbie Allen telling herself to put down the ice cream spoon during a conversation about discipline comes to mind.”
“Beyond experience, I need an audio team that prioritizes the authenticity of a scene, moment by moment. Someone who takes opportunities to tie in little elements that make the body of work feel unified tastefully. That’s where there’s real value.”
Andrew Rowley, Post Production Supervisor
Like the show’s guests, the post production team embraced the spirit of open and upfront communication. “We had very responsive post partners,” says Brett. “It was a smaller operation than other shows. One or two people to a role. That proactive communication was key.” On drawing intention out of the content of each scene, engineer, Ryan Hobler adds, “Oftentimes, the technical aspects of mixing audio require listening to a certain syllable over and over. It’s easy to get into a very clinical mindset. Sometimes, you momentarily forget the content you’re working on. That was impossible on this show. Robin shared a memory that her father just wanted her to be kind when she grows up. Maybe it’s being a parent, but that got me every single time. Lots of dust and rain and onions being cut in the mixing room that day!”