As we've covered in the past, the sound in 'Tenet' was an issue.
That's putting it delicately. It was an absolute mess, to be more blunt. While some people might have overlooked these issues in the likes of, say, 'Interstellar' or 'Dunkirk', when it comes to 'Tenet' - a movie that's replete with complex story details - it begins to be a problem.
Indeed, it's the sort of thing that would get people frustrated enough to pick up the phone and complain directly to Christopher Nolan if they had the means at their disposal. And that's exactly what happened, too. Per a new book about Nolan's filmography, the director revealed that a number of fellow filmmakers called to give him an earful.
"I actually got calls from other filmmakers who would say, ‘I just saw your film, and the dialogue is inaudible.’ Some people thought maybe the music’s too loud, but the truth was it was kind of the whole enchilada of how we had chosen to mix it."
snippet worth sharing - Nolan on audiomixgate - Interstellar edition. Funnily enough he talks about the PR storm around the TDKR prologue one too earlier pic.twitter.com/T7lzutYrCK
— Anton Volkov (@antovolk) November 11, 2020
To his credit, Nolan was at least aware of how radical the mix was for 'Interstellar', adding that longtime composer Hans Zimmer took off certain restrictions on frequencies for the score. "I was a little shocked to realize how conservative people are when it comes to sound. Because you can make a film that looks like anything, you can shoot on your iPhone, no one’s going to complain. But if you mix the sound a certain way, or if you use certain sub-frequencies, people get up in arms."
Well, yeah, people with hearing generally tend to understand the gist of a movie through sound. Whatever about adding effects to a certain scene where it calls for it, but having a plot-heavy discussion on a wind surfing thingamajig over crackling walkie-talkies just feels like a bad choice.