Sound and DI teams pay a return visit to
Swallow Falls and the results are delicious.

Culver City,
Calif.—Post-production work for Sony Pictures Animation’s  Cloudy
with a Chance of Meatballs 2
, the much anticipated sequel to the 2009 hit,
was completed by Sony
Pictures Digital Productions
(SPDP) on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City.
SPDP talent oversaw sound editorial, sound mixing, color grading and editorial
finishing for the animated movie, working alongside their counterparts from
Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) and Sony Pictures Animation , who created the film’s
final animation. It’s the latest project to utilize an integrated workflow linking
production, animation, visual effects and post production operations on the
Sony lot. Cloudy with a Chance of
Meatballs 2
released nationwide in 2D and 3D on September 27th.

“Artists and technical experts from within Sony
Pictures Digital Producutions came together to create a gorgeous, fun-filled,
comedy adventure that is a worthy successor to the original Cloudy,” says Bob Osher, President, Sony Pictures
Digital Productions. “Availing themselves of the latest technology and working
together in a collaborative environment, they have raised the bar for creative
imagination and technical execution.  I’m
thrilled audiences worldwide can now enjoy the results.”
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is larger in scope than its predecessor, featuring
many of the same memorable characters while also introducing  new visual elements including the fantastic
food-animal creatures—foodimals—ranging from “cantalopes” and “flamangos” to
intimidating “cheespiders”.  Several new
locations have also been added such as a colorful bioluminescence plant filled
forest, a syrup and pancake breakfast bog and a salsa river with pico de gallo foliage
as well as the urban metropolis of San Franjose, brought spectacularly to life
by teams of artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation.
SPI’s effects
artists faced formidable challenges in creating some of the tasty environments.
The effects team employed cutting edge particle generating software to simulate
a variety of phenomena particular to the imaginary world of Swallow Falls,
including a lake filled with coconut milk and a bog of maple syrup. 
“The artists
who do that stuff are the ‘mad scientists,’ the brightest of the bright,”
explains Pete Travers, Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Visual Effects Supervisor. “They
have to understand the mathematics of the problem, but they also need an
artistic eye.” Travers points to a sequence where the heroes are traveling down
a river in a police vehicle and encounter rapids. Simulating the chaotic motion
of the water, Travers notes, “required an incredible amount of calculation,
bouncing molecules, tension and fluid cohesion, and all of it needs to be taken
into account.”
The foodimals
were a central preoccupation of the film’s sound artists. Supervising Sound
Editor Geoffrey Rubay and his team helped to evoke the inimitable personalities
of the creatures through a myriad of inventive vocalizations and sound effects.
Nearly, all of those sounds were produced from organic (rather than digital)
sources. In fact, recordists and Foley artists employed real food—lettuce,
celery, watermelons and so on—to produce many of the sounds heard in the film.
sounds produced by fruits and vegetables to the foodimal characters made them
appear more lifelike. “We use sounds from the real world because they’re
familiar,” Rubay explains. “When you hear them, your brain recognizes that it’s
heard that sound before and concludes that what it’s looking at must be real.”
The film’s
soundtrack was mixed by veteran Re-Recording Mixers Michael Semanick and Tom
Johnson on a dubbing stage on the Sony lot. Along with the sound effects and
dialogue, the mixers worked with musical elements from composer Mark
The film’s colorful
visuals and the non-stop action plot prompted 
Semanick and Johnson to take a restrained approach with the soundtrack. “Visually
the movie is full; there is a lot going on,” Semanick observes. “If we had put
sound to everything, it would have become a wall of sound and may have pushed
audiences away. Instead, we were very careful and only used sound that helped
the story. We hit the things that needed to be hit and drew attention where it
needed to be drawn. We created dynamics. We let the quiet parts be very quiet,
so that the loud parts didn’t need to be so loud. We let it breathe naturally.”
Picture post
production was completed at Colorworks, Sony Pictures Digital Productions’
digital intermediate facility. Colorist Trent Johnson applied the final color
grade, working under the supervision of Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn,
Production Designer Justin K. Thompson and Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Travers. “On
an animated feature, if the artists have done their job, the DI should proceed
very smoothly, and it was very much that way on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” Travers recalls. “Trent was
very good at addressing subtleties both within scenes and between scenes to
create a consistent look.”
Post production
work was aided by the close proximity of the animation, visual effects, sound
and digital intermediate teams. Efficiency was also boosted by a common
workflow that gave all parties equal access to production assets.
As Johnson
explains, picture and sound files for Cloudy
with a Chance of Meatballs 2
were stored on a vast shared storage
environment called the Sony Production Backbone. “We were involved with Sony
Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks early on in the production to
create a seamless pipeline,” Johnson says. “All of the data comes to us from
the Backbone. We received updates and fixes in a fraction of the time it would
take to send a drive or use an FTP.  That was very helpful during the
grading sessions as it allowed us to provide the directors with immediate

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 picks up where Sony Pictures Animation’s mouth-watering
comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he
destroyed his most infamous invention — a machine that turned water into food
causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that
his invention survived and is now creating food-animals –
“foodimals!”  Flint and his friends embark on a dangerously
delicious mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses,
cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world – again!   Directed
by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn.  Screenplay by Erica Rivinoja and John
Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein.  Story by Phil Lord &
Christopher Miller and Erica Rivinoja.  Inspired by the book Cloudy with a
Chance of Meatballs written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron
Barrett.  Produced by Pam Marsden and Kirk Bodyfelt. 
Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and
family entertainment for audiences around the world.  The studio is
following its worldwide comedy hits—the 2012 monster hit comedy Hotel
, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The
 and The Smurfs 2, and the 2009
mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—with
the family comedy Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 in
theaters September 2013.  Sony Pictures Animation will also release a
brand new mini-movie on DVD and television this Fall, The Smurfs: The
Legend of Smurfy Hollow
.  The studio, in conjunction with Aardman
Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films:  the
CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award®
nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of
.  In 2007, Surf’s Up also received
an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.  The division,
whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful
movie franchise, turned 10 in 2012.  Sony Pictures Animation is an
operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures
Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of
Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture
production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition
and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and
distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new
entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information,
go to
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