Finding the Right Note: Music Editor Suzana Peric on 'Ricki and the Flash'

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The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) magazine, CineMontage, spoke with sound editor Suzana Peric about her work on the recent film, Ricki and the Flash, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Meryl Streep as a successful singer who tries to make amends with the family she left behind. 

Of working with Demme (who gave her her first gig as a music editor in 1986 on Something Wild), Peric says, "Jonathan loves and has come out of the music world, so his voice and approach to films will embrace music as part of that spoken or written word before he creates the piece."

For the many performance pieces in Ricki and the Flash, she explains, "I realized quickly that you just couldn’t extract the bleed from the instruments from her microphone. Meryl was standing next to the drum, the organ. Maybe you could minimize that a little bit, but you couldn’t really do that much without making the sacrifice of adding a processed sound to her voice — which we didn’t want. So I took the opposite route and enhanced everything in her microphone to give the real sound of the room and of her voice, and she liked that. I was reading about the approaches to vocal treatment and learned about this processor that was very popular in the 1960s."