In Les Miserables, I understand all music numbers (every scene, that is) were recorded live on set with the actors leading an accompanying pianist off-site. How then could they shoot the One Day More number? This piece consists of many locations and many intersecting melodic lines from many different characters. Is it possible they shot all scenes simultaneously on separate portions of the stage and all vocal performances were monitored through every performers' in-ear system?

  • I'm assuming they did it in several shots, then matched it up in editing. Heck, they wouldn't (likely) have had a full orchestra around for every shot, so that would have to be put in afterwards anyways, and dealing with some other cleanup. Mar 26, 2013 at 22:35
  • The orchestra wasn't present, a pianist. The performance was led by the actors' singing, how could the song match up so well if it was really recorded with that much variance?
    – Matt
    Mar 27, 2013 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


I would guess that they could either:

  • Have the actors sing the piece through together on stage, have them mime on location and then dub the lyrics
  • Have them singing on location and support them with a backing track.

(Do not forget that they would have rehersed these songs scores of times and would know them inside out).

  • #2. You record the instrumental accompaniment first, which then all the actors sing along to. Since the accompaniment is the same for all actors, they all sing at the same tempo. The marketing hook of the movie was that the singing was recorded live, not the orchestra. Dec 5, 2013 at 2:24
  • Would that be them singing on location with a backing track?
    – Stefan
    Dec 5, 2013 at 9:16
  • If it was done like the typical movie musical, the actors wear earpieces so that only they can hear the prerecorded instrumental track. Then the crew records 'clean' audio of the singing by itself. Dec 5, 2013 at 12:04

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