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As anyone who's seen a Christopher Nolan movie will tell you, clear and understandable dialogue is as important to a film as a crisp and discernible image. But you'd be surprised how long an actor can spend on re-recording their lines, as Tom Hanks has given us a figure that even we're surprised about.
During his current spree of answering random Reddit posts, Hanks found himself looking at the question, "What is a little known fact about your job?" Seeing as he's more than a little knowledgeable in the field of acting, the legendary actor provided the poster with some of that Reddit magic we sometimes hear about. So how long does it take for a seasoned vet like Tom Hanks to get his lines in the can? His answer was the following:
A single line can take 2 hours to get right. For me, I have to put in about 3 days of ADR/Looping on every movie.
One line, which could be anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple of minutes in length, could take 2 hours to get right. Put into perspective, a total ADR period of three days sounds about right if that's the case, considering your average film lands in a sweet spot between 90 and 120 minutes. Still, could you imagine 2 hours trying to perfect the delivery of a line you nailed on the set weeks before? Especially if it's a scene stealer like this choice scene from Catch Me If You Can.
As fun as movies can be, it's facts like this that remind us that making a movie is indeed hard work. So when an actor nails that line that makes a movie particularly iconic, the results are all the more pleasing thanks to the fact that the hard work in getting the sound just right paid off in the end. If it weren't for additional dialogue recording, or ADR for short, we wouldn't have moments like the one below, which just happens to be Tom Hanks' iconic opening lines from 1995's Forrest Gump.
So the next time you go to see a movie, and a particular moment makes you laugh, cry, or even angry with the heat of a thousand suns; remember the fact that specific moment was carefully crafted to do just that. And you can thank Tom Hanks for today's educational lesson by going to see Bridge Of Spies, when it premieres on October 16th.