A Look at TITLE VII Through Composition and Sound

by Justin Bramwell

A movie is 50% of what you see and 50% of what you hear. Title VII is a film directed by Nicole Franklin. The post production team had a chance to talk about their experience. Let’s see what they had to say.

Introducing Véronique, the Editor

Véronique Doumbé discusses her passion for editing and the unique style she brought to the film. She is both a narrative and documentary storyteller who wears multiple hats as producer, director and editor. Véronique is also the founder of Ndolo Films. Ndolo means love in Duala, one of the many languages of Cameroon in Central Africa.

1. Name? Where are you from? Role in Title VII?

My name is Véronique Doumbé. I am from Cameroon and Martinique. I was the editor on TITLE VII.

2. When did you know editing was one of many things you wanted to do?

I knew editing was what I wanted to do as soon as I got involved in films (video and Super 8). Editing was the step in the process that appealed to me the most.

3. Favorite part of the Title VII movie (without spoiling it)?

My favorite part of the movie was the encounter with the police officer. I cringe every time I see it.

4. What makes you stand out? How is your editing style different from other editors?

My process. I approach editing differently when I edit a documentary or a narrative. In the case of Title VII or any narrative, I first assemble all the scenes recorded during the shoot. It helps me to assess with the director if she recognizes her story, how she feels about her film, the pacing, the acting etc. Once a scene is cut I watch it several times without sound to see if I understand what’s going on and most importantly if I feel something. I search for a smile, a grin, a frown, a certain look, anything that can convey an emotion without sound. Then I listen to the scene without watching the image, to hear if I feel something, and if I believe the character. I pay attention to the tone of the voice, to the delivery. I like to give the movie a certain rhythm before relying on the music

5. How long did it take to finish your part of the movie?

To finish editing the movie took about 12 weeks.

6. Advice for aspiring editors?

Patience is key. Editing is reediting.

7. What is the biggest accomplishment of your career?

Making my first feature documentary: “Denis A. Charles: an interrupted conversation” which I wrote, directed, shot, edited and produced. (2002)

Introducing Soli, the Sound Designer

Antonio Lima or better known as “Soli” is the Sound Designer and Sound Mixing Engineer for the film, TITLE VII. Soli lives in New York by way of Brazil. He has had the privilege of working in the movie industry in both countries. I had the pleasure of speaking with him and gained some insight into this particular post production specialty. Here is what he had to say.

1. Name? Where are you from? Role in Title VII?

My name is Antonio “Soli” Lima. I am an American US Citizen born in Brazil. My role on Title VII was as Sound Designer and Sound Mixing Engineer.

2. U.S. Films vs. Brazilian Films, which do you prefer, and why?

I like good films and I don’t think of any flags when it comes to the art of film in particular. Film is an art form that can frame life and some of our behavior at its best.

3. Tell us a little bit more about your love for music.

Music is what sustains my everything. I mean everything that made me who I am now and possibly what I will be tomorrow.

4. How did it start? When did it start? What do you love most about music?

I don’t know exactly how music began for me, maybe from me being curious about how songs become how they are, interacted harmonies, melodically and rhythmically captivating. That is why it’s difficult to know when exactly I started or how. I guess professionally, I started making money in my early teens. What I love most about music is that it can transform anyone’s life and that is very powerful.

5. Favorite part of the Title VII movie (without spoiling it)?

I don’t think I have a favorite part on the film Title VII. After working on this film for so many hours all parts became my favorite part.

6. What was your previous knowledge of the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Well, I worked for some corporations in the past. It is very hard not to know about the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. I have some experience working with the compliance department that trained employees regarding any discrimination based on sex, race, color, nationality and religion.

7. What makes you stand out? How is your design style different from other sound designers?

I don’t know if I stand out. I know one thing — that is a job needs to be done and it needs to be done well. I must be professionally acute to the reality of the film. We should push to achieve the best and the key is to learn from our mistakes when that is pointed out us.

8. Is there anyone in the industry who you admire?

I admire professionals that finish their projects and move on. I don’t have any one name in the industry in mind for you.

9. Advice for aspiring sound designers?

The only advice to aspiring sound designers is to go see movies so you can learn from it.

10. The biggest accomplishment of your career?

I never think of my “biggest accomplishment.” I am naturally a simple musician who writes music and the artist that performs its own music. Sound Design and Sound Mixing became second nature for me because I’ve been working with the art of sound for so many years. I guess our biggest accomplishment can be the previous work we do.

TITLE VII is a 72-minute feature film from director Nicole Franklin and stars Chicava HoneyChild, Fidel Vicioso and Brian Anthony Wilson. The film was lensed by DP Cybel Martin. The screenplay was written by Nicole Franklin and Craig T. Williams and adapted from the novel Within The Walls by Daisy M. Jenkins. TITLE VII premiered at the Hollywood Black Film Festival February 2017. Visit #TITLEVIIFilm on social media and at www.NicoleFranklin.com/cine.

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