Award-winning facility Hackenbacker Audio Post Production is currently handling all of the audio post for ITVs major new costume drama series, Downton Abbey, which is scheduled to air on ITV1 in Autumn 2010.
The series has been written and created by Julian Fellowes who is best known for Gosford Park, which won a plethora of awards including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2001. Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern lead the all-star cast, which also includes Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Frogatt, Thomas Howes, Rob James-Collier, Rose Leslie, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Dan Stevens and Penelope Wilton.
Downton Abbey, a Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE co-production, is set in an Edwardian country house in 1912 and portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them during the period from the sinking of the Titanic to the outbreak of the First World War.
Downton Abbey has been beautifully shot and to accompany this visual triumph, Hackenbacker is furnishing Carnival with the audio post production. The series is being mixed in Hackenbackers Studio One by Nigel Heath, assisted by Alexander Fielding. The facility is also handling all of the sound editing, ADR and Foley. Most of the work is taking place in Hackenbackers studios in Soho, London, but the Foley is being recorded in Hackenbackers recently acquired second studio, also conveniently located in Central London.
Series producer Liz Trubridge, whose previous productions include From Time to Time and A Short Stay in Switzerland, says: I came to Hackenbacker with Downton Abbey on the strong recommendation of our executive producer and managing director of Carnival, Gareth Neame.
I am delighted we came to this decision. It is always gratifying, with increasingly tight schedules, when the people we work with are willing to go the extra mile but I find the team at Hackenbacker do that and more....much more. The professionalism of Nigel and his team is both impressive and reassuring and their ingenuity in solving problems means that I often only find out about them after they have all been sorted or are well on their way to being so.
Hackenbacker has won numerous awards for the quality of its audio post production and is renowned for helping productions come alive sonically. Over the past 25 years the company has tackled numerous film and television projects including such notable productions as Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Hotel Babylon, Criminal Justice, Four Lions, In Bruges and Is Anybody There?
Commenting on the Downton Abbey project, Hackenbackers Nigel Heath says: It's so nice to be able to welcome Liz Trubridge, Gareth Neame and the directors of the show to Hackenbacker. To work on a project which pays such attention to detail and is so beautifully written is a real joy.
"The writing and style of the show demands that the mix is sometimes very delicate and minimal but the show still has to stand up sonically to being shown as part of the prime time schedule on a commercial network. This is in itself a challenge but we are all very pleased with the results so far."
Liz Trubridge adds: To work with people who seem to care about your project as passionately as you do and who leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the final package is as good as it could possibly be is not only gratifying but is collaboration working at its very best. I love it at Hacks and will be back for more!"
Director of Television, ITV, Peter Fincham and Director of Drama, Laura Mackie have ordered seven episodes of Downton Abbey. The first episode will be a 90-minute film followed by 6 x 60 episodes.