Production Sound & Video

Fall 2018

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34 T he Civil Rights movement in 1950s and 1960s America was a tinderbox ready to explode, then in the '70s, it continued with the emergence of the Black Power movement. The latter is the historic setting for BlacKkKlansman, a taught sociopolitical film from director Spike Lee. Based on the book Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, the adapted screenplay follows the true story of Stallworth's (John David Washington) infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan and his eventual take down of an extremist hate group. Production Sound Mixer Drew Kunin, Boom Operator Mark Goodermote, and Utility Marsha Smith took on the project, a paced schedule lasting from October to December 2017 that TRUTH AND ACTION by Daron James SOUND MIXES A MOVING PALETTE FOR SPIKE LEE'S NEW JOINT included a glut of filming locations in New York and a jaunt VFX stop in Colorado to blend Centennial State exteriors into the Big Apple. The movie opens up in black-and-white, featuring Alec Baldwin as a bigot-spewing racist; a 16mm projector beams images of his message overlapping his face and onto the wall behind him—the noise of the machine pierces through the soundscape. On set, everything was done live with no visual effects. It meant the clacking of the projector would compete with Baldwin's dialog. "I didn't know how loud Alec was going to be, which turned out to be very," says Kunin. "I was a bit surprised when he launched into it—it was a little bit of wild ride to keep his level from overloading, but we were lucky he had enough volume that overrode the projector." Sound ran a Schoeps CMIT-5U as boom and placed a lav for dialog. Kunin uses a mix of DPA, Sanken, and Countryman lavs with Lectrosonics wireless on projects. His general mantra being to only wire when necessary, however, on BlacKkKlansman, they went ahead and wired everyone to be safe. Multiple roam- ing cameras shooting wide and tight coverage were an acting catalyst, but also being the team's first project with Lee, they didn't want to interrupt the rhythm with the need of adding a lav after the fact. Photos by David Lee/Focus Features

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