Monday, June 2, 2008

Cast of "Across the Universe" on GMA

When I watched "Across the Universe," I complained about the pitch correction that I thought I'd heard. The second time I watched it, I was less convinced that I had heard any pitch correction at all.

Then I came across this online discussion of the movie wherein someone states exactly what I felt when I watched it: Jim Sturgess's voice makes some very sharply defined steps when changing notes -- sometimes when he changes notes, the transition from one note to the next is so sharp and clean that you'd swear it has to have been electronically enhanced.

Someone in the discussion pointed out this live performance on Good Morning America as proof that Jim Sturgess is accurate enough without electronic assistance. And, while I knows it's possible to do pitch correction on a live performance, I think it more likely that Jim Sturgess can just simply sing well.

I feel glad that it wasn't just me, and that someone else came to the same conclusion that I did. But I feel better about believing that the filmmakers did not need to pitch-correct their performers.

The movie, by the way, was way better than I expected it could be. They do not (for the most part) attempt to re-create the Beatles arrangements, but they also do not wind up desecrating any of the songs, either (you might take issue with some of the editing, but the interpretations at least honor the source material). And Julie Taymor's visual style is always stunning and original. The more I see of her, the more I admire her. Possibly the strongest statement of all is her statement that whenever possible, instead of pre-recording and then lip-syncing to playback during filming, they had the actors perform the pieces live in front of the camera. Which I find admirable.

[UPDATE: Here's synchronicity for you. After I posted this about two hours ago, I see that someone came to my blog because they did pretty much the same thing that I did: they Googled "across the universe" and "pitch correction." So I guess maybe I'm even farther from being the only person who wondered about this than I thought I was.]

[UPDATE: Synchonicity #2: via BoingBoing - The New Yorker's "Out Loud" podcast this week is about Auto-Tune, the pitch correction software.]

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