NEW YORK CITY — FX’s Welcome to Wrexham is a docu-series in which Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds navigate running the third oldest professional football club in the world. Wrexham, a working-class town in North Wales, UK, is home to the struggling Red Dragons. In 2020, McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds partnered to purchase the fifth-tier club in the hopes of turning them into an underdog story the whole world could root for. The one hitch is that the partners have no experience in football or working together. Boardwalk Pictures is the production company behind the show, and audio post houses Butter and Mr. Bronx (www.bronxaudio.com) provided services for the series’ Episode 7.
According to Mr. Bronx’s owner/senior mixer/sound designer Dave Wolfe, the studio has been providing audio post support for many of Maximum Effort's commercial projects, in conjunction with their sister company Butter Music + Sound.
“We have wonderful, longstanding relationships with many of Maximum Effort's team members from their previous production company/agency gigs,” he notes. “ For Welcome to Wrexham, Butter was tapped to provide a musical arrangement for the Charlotte Church late-night show segment at the end of Episode 7. But after chatting with the production team, we realized that there was an opportunity to take on the audio post production for the whole episode. Episode 7 is Maximum Effort's first foray into television production, and we believed Bronx's prior experience in delivering episodic television would make for a smooth workflow. We received prep for the episode on August 15th and completed sound editorial, mix, and revisions five days later.”
Even though it was the seventh episode of the season, it was Maximum Effort’s and Mr. Bronx's first.
“We sorted out all the usual first episode questions,” he explains, “track layout for OMFs, preferred codecs, and SFX/mix level preferences. Personally, I find it much more enticing to sign onto a project when everyone is on equal footing and we're all striving for the same goal. And Maximum Effort couldn't have been more of a pleasure to work with. I'm really looking forward to seeing what's coming next from them.”
While Mr. Bronx was only providing audio post for this one episode, it needed to fit into the series as a whole.
“It was also fun mimicking the tonal quality of different show formats,” says Wolfe. “This episode includes Sports Center, a cooking show and a late-night show. Each format has very specific SFX beats, music levels and dialogue chains. We loved referencing these classic show styles and recreating them for Rob and Ryan.”
Wolfe used Pro Tools, Izotope RX, Fabfilter and Nugen Audio plug-ins to complete the episode.
Senior mixer/sound designer Geoff Strasser has worked with Maximum Effort on a few jobs leading up to this one, including their tongue-in-cheek Mint Mobile spots, featuring Reynolds.
“Whenever we worked with them, they were very professional but also fun and relaxed,” he recalls. “We're the same way, so we like to work with people like that. This was a pretty quick turnaround - we had our mix out for approval in less than 48 hours of receiving turnover.”
Strasser agrees with Wolfe in that each segment has a slightly different feel and is ripping off another type of reality TV show.
“We had to make the Sports Center segment really aggressive and in-your-face, and the cooking show segment really relaxed and calm,” Strasser recalls. “I was given pretty minimal material to work with on the scene with the sheep farmer, so there was a lot of pulling out handles to find noise and action to fill it out. That was one of my favorite moments because it feels really authentic to reality TV.”