Max’s Love & Death tells the true story of Candy Montgomery, the Texas housewife who was accused of murdering her extramarital lover’s wife. The series stars Elizabeth Olsen as Montgomery and Jesse Plemons as her lover Allan Gore, with both actors turning in gripping performances that thrust Love & Death into binge-worthiness (all seven episodes of the show are now streaming).
Interestingly, this adaptation is not the first. Hulu’s Candy and Love & Death both tell the story of Montgomery through very specific lenses.
Love & Death is a slow burn that builds tension as it brings Montgomery and the audience to the breaking point. The series' emotion and tension are carefully crafted and scored to make the audience feel every bit of emotion Montgomery experiences throughout her affair and crime. One of the many ways the story's core is established is through the excellent sound work of a team that includes re-recording mixer Nick Offord. Offord has worked across genres and formats, with credits that include The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and the upcoming second season of The Afterparty.
No Film School spoke with Offord over email about how he got started as a re-recording artist, his work on Love & Death, and the excitement behind receiving two Emmy nominations for his work on Dopesick and Pam & Tommy.
Editor's Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
No Film School: How did you get your start as a re-recording artist?
Nick Offord: I’ve always wanted to work in a music studio and mix records. When I was a kid, I would listen to records over and over and try to dissect the different sounds and ask the question, “I wonder who made the decision to put that clap there, and why?” The whole process of making music always interested me. That was until I figured out I could mix music and film together!
That was a huge turning point, and I started trying to figure out how to get my foot in the post-production door. I started as a “Y-16 sound service person” at Sony Pictures back when they had their own sound mailroom. I eventually worked my way up to a mixing chair. Luckily I was around a lot of incredible mixers who were willing to let me sit with them so I could watch and listen to what they were doing.
NFS: What about Love & Death excited you to join the project?
Offord: This story is really fascinating. I didn’t know how we were going to approach the show until right before we started mixing, but I was so excited about working with Leslie Linka Glatter. She’s an amazing storyteller and her energy and willingness to collaborate makes working together a lot of fun.
The sound team that we put together on this project was also very exciting. We had Brett Hinton, our sound supervisor and designer; my mixing partner Ryan Collins; and Kyle O'Neil who came in to help us out as well. We have all worked together on other projects before so we had a great idea of what everyone was going to bring to the table. We had a great time, and it's one show we didn't want to end.
Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery in 'Love & Death'Credit: MaxNFS: Were there any challenges you faced on the project? And how did you overcome them?
Offord: With this particular project, the mixing was actually happening before the score was finished, which is highly unusual, but it actually worked out really well because we were able to do a lot of premixing and working in all of the sound design that Brett came up with. Between Brett’s design, Ryan and Kyle on effects, and myself with the dialog and temp music, we were able to dial in a lot of the design track that we were then able to send off to our composer Jeff Russo. Then, Jeff could reference what we were able to come up with if he wanted to. When we got Jeff’s tracks back to the mix stage, they laid right in the mix and the show just came alive. It was a really different way of working, but I really enjoyed it.
NFS: What was it like getting Emmy-nominated 2x? What was it like mixing Dopesick and Pam & Tommy?
Offord: It was a very surreal experience to be nominated for an Emmy, let alone two. I love both of those shows, we did some amazing work, and, most importantly, helped tell two great stories. They couldn’t have been more opposite of one another, which makes it even more fun that they were nominated together.
Pam & Tommy definitely had a rockstar-type feel to it. We were really bold in some of our decisions and the whole soundtrack rocked. Dopesick was very intense.
The overall arc of what we were able to do sonically was something I am very proud of. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being recognized at that level. This is something that I have been working towards for such a long time. The amount of support I received from people in the sound community along with my friends and family was truly an overwhelming experience. I’m so proud of that work and the fact that it was recognized by my peers was very special.
Nick Offord working on 'Pam & Tommy'Credit: Post MagazineNFS: Do you have any advice for people who are looking to break into the industry as re-recording artist
Offord: It’s a very hard business, but it IS possible to get in. Especially now with social media, it’s a lot easier to connect with people who are like-minded. There are a lot of amazing people that are all about bringing up the next group of talent. You can learn so many tricks and tips online now, that can give you a step ahead when trying to connect with people that are already in the industry. You will never be able to replicate time that experienced sound people have spent on dub stages and edit bays. Just take in as much information as you can when the opportunity comes.