Challengers Sizzles with Cincinnati Talent

May 7, 2024

Challengers debuted #1 at the Box Office its opening weekend. With an 89% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is earning raves. Variety calls it “steamy and stylish” and “that rare film where you’ll work up a sweat just from spectating.” says “Everyone’s talking about Challengers”. As music and sound people here at PLAY, we couldn’t get enough of the propulsive score by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor.  

At PLAY Audio Agency, we are proud to have contributed to this incredible piece of filmmaking. In December 2022, we welcomed the film’s lead actor, Mike Faist to our studio to record ADR for several scenes. 

For those who aren’t immersed in sound design and audio post production every day, ADR stands for “automated dialog replacement.” Some call these sessions, “looping.” It is the process of  re-recording dialog as well as recording new dialog, sounds, and expressions from the talent. ADR sessions require an eye/ear for detail because the sounds have to be synched precisely to picture and captured in such a way that the sound quality mimics the environment and movement of the actor as they are depicted on-screen. The goal is for the audience to never realize that the dialogue was recorded after the fact. Otherwise, you may get an undesirable effect where the lips don’t match the audio. This is called “lip flap.”

Our chief engineer and creative director, Adam Pleiman recorded Faist’s grunts and pants matching it to scenes of his character, Art Donaldson, sweating it out on the tennis court as well as multiple other scenes throughout the film. 

Challengers was our second time recording ADR for a film directed by Luca Guadagnino. The Academy Award-nominated director of Call Me By Your Name, utilized our services in 2019 for the film, Bones and All, which was also shot in Cincinnati. PLAY Audio Agency brings its wealth of experience doing ADR to the films. Our credits span decades and include such films as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the Academy Award-winning Frozen, Disney’s Firebuds, Pixar’s forthcoming animated series, Win or Lose, and Dandelion directed by Nicole Riegel

PLAY Audio Agency is honored to partner with creators and help craft the sounds for movies that will entertain and move audiences for generations. 

Ann Driscoll is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and the Project Director for PLAY Audio Agency where she coordinates podcast production. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ann was the Internet Team Leader for the radio/digital distribution department at ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in New York City, where she developed processes for increasing royalty distribution for YouTube streams. As a performer and songwriter, she has performed in Egypt, Germany, and has showcased twice at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Her original music has earned her praise from Billboard Magazine.