Concerns about the audibility issues that affected Jamaica Inn were raised by crew during the production, it has emerged.
The three-part series drew 2,200 complaints over inaudibility, prompting the BBC to adjust the programme’s dialogue levels for the second and third episodes.
Jamaica Inn sound recordist and Bafta Craft Award nominee Martin Beresford broke his silence to speak to Broadcast and defend the sound team that worked on the BBC drama.
Beresford said that although it was a “difficult” shoot, the director and producer of the three-part BBC drama were happy with what was captured on location.
“[Lead actor] Sean Harris did mumble, and we knew that was a problem, but we did all we could on set,” Beresford said.
He added that some of Harris’ dialogue was subject to ADR.
“Hopefully, [Jamaica Inn] will help to highlight some of the problems that can occur with sound, and if there is a mumbled or lost line, directors will opt for another take,” he said.
Post facility LipSync graded, mixed and onlined the drama, and managing director Peter Hampden said all three episodes passed BBC QC checks.
He added that no problems were reported at any screenings prior to transmission.
It is thought that production firm Origin Pictures believes a technical hitch was the reason for the discrepancy between viewers’ experience and those who saw previews of the drama.
Hampden confirmed that preview copies contained the final audio mix and that only a stereo mix was completed and delivered for playout.
“It’s difficult to know exactly what the problem was,” he said. “There are some obvious potential issues, but until the BBC has looked into it, we can’t comment further.”
LipSync Post re-recording mixer Robert Farr, who picked up a Bafta Craft Award for his audio work on Dancing On The Edge this week, was part of the Jamaica Inn sound team.
Speaking at the awards ceremony on Sunday, he said the issues that affected the latter demonstrated the importance of audio.
“We applied the same skills and disciplines to Dancing On The Edge and Jamaica Inn.
“We would always prefer more time but understand the realities of TV budgets.”
The BBC, Origin Pictures and Red Bee Media all declined to comment.