which was great. They were really
happy with the way that I balance
the tracks,” shares O’Leary.
Most of the mix notes O’Leary
receives from the producers refer
to music levels. Alone isn’t a music-driven show, but each episode uses
music clips to enhance the drama or
highlight the characters’ emotional
state. “The music should feel like
it should just be there. It’s not the
heart of the show. Primarily what I
focus on is the dialogue,” he says.
The majority of the three-day
mix is spent cleaning and balancing the dialogue using iZotope’s RX
4 Advanced. O’Leary strives for intelligibility and consistency in dialogue levels. “When you have rain
coming down and wind, you want
to eliminate some of that hitting the
camera and its mic,” he says.
For Season 2, O’Leary’s most
challenging dialogue sequence was
in Episode 8, “The Ascent,” during which contestant Justin Vititoe
hiked to the top of a mountain on
Day 22 to symbolize the fact that 22
veterans tragically commit suicide
each day (according to a recent Department of Veterans Affairs study).
Vititoe, himself an Army vet, is the
founder and director of Hike 2 Survive, a program that uses hiking and
camping trips to help veterans transition back into civilian life. During
his climb on Alone, Vititoe overcomes obstacles like slick ground
and fallen trees, and even a knee
injury he sustains along the way.
Season 2 contestants pose for a group photo on Vancouver Island
Season 3 contestant Jim Shields
Justin Vititoe captures footage of himself climbing a mountain in Season 2’s “The Ascent”