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POP Sound®, Inc. Serves “Delectable” Sound for “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”


POP Sound

provided sound editorial and mixing services for Jiro Dreams of Sushi, director David Gelb’s new documentary. Re-Recording Mixer Tim Hoogenakker led the sound team for the film, which tells the story of an 85-year-old master sushi chef from Japan and his quest to create the perfect piece of sushi. Magnolia Pictures recently acquired North American rights to the film, just ahead of its screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
For a documentary, the film includes an unusually large number of sound design elements as Hoogenakker and his crew, who also included Supervising Sound Editor Darren “Sunny” Warkentin, Foley Editor Anthony Vanchure and Sound Editor Chris Johnston, sought to recreate the signature sounds of a Japanese kitchen. Toward that end, the Foley stage at POP Sound was set up like a sushi kitchen with a large countertop, an assortment of knives and a collection of raw fish bought at a local market. “We wanted to record our guys slicing tuna and scraping knives across bones to recreate a sense of how these chefs do their craft with such fine precision,” Hoogenakker says.

Many of the scenes showing sushi preparation appear in slow motion and required special sound treatment. “One of the things that Jiro talks about is having grand dreams of sushi, and that became our theme,” explains Warkentin. “Especially in the slow motion scenes, we kept things surreal and dreamy.”
“We also wanted to keep everything appetizing,” Warkentin adds. “We were very conscious of that when we did the Foley. When they were using knives to cut the fish, for example, we wanted it to sound real, but not in a way that might make the audience squeamish.”
One of the most challenging scenes involved a busy Japanese fish market. The finished sound is primarily made up from production elements with a few Foley and sound effects elements blended in to give audiences the sense that they are in the middle of the action. “They take the auctioning of fish very seriously,” Hoogenakker says. “It sounds almost like they are chanting.”

Gelb praised the work of the POP Sound team, stating that their creativity and technical skills “added a whole new layer of life to the film.” “Moments that were in slow motion and silent in our rough cut are elevated and lush with surreal and dream-like effects that are subtle, yet powerful,” Gelb said. “Dialogue that was totally inaudible before is now crystal clear. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is an absolute pleasure to listen to.”
The film has been drawing rave reviews from film fans and sushi aficionados alike. In a review of its Tribeca screening, Indiewire called Jiro Dreams of Sushi a “delectable doc” that will leave audiences craving more.

About POP Sound

POP Sound provides sound services to the advertising, feature film, television and gaming industries. Founded in 1994, the company features 11 mixing stages and one ADR/Foley stage, and offers such services as sound supervision, sound design, editorial, ADR, VO recording, Foley, re-recording mixing, ISDN, HD & SD audio laybacks. From commercials to commentaries, music videos to video games, restoration to documentaries, television to feature films, POP Sound helps its clients realize their creative visions.

Feature Film Contacts:

Dawn Redmann 310-587-1272

Laura Harley 310-587-1247


Hollywood, California-based CSS Studios® is a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 180 countries. CSS Studios provides creative post production sound services to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and interactive producers. The services of CSS Studios are marketed under the brand names Todd-AO®, Sound One, Soundelux®, POP Sound®, Modern Music, Soundelux Design Music Group and The Hollywood Edge, with facilities in Los Angeles and New York. With more than 50 years of experience in providing creative sound services and technical solutions, the companies, collectively, have garnered more than 50 Academy Award nominations and won 26 Academy Awards®.