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June 2017

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Page 19 of 43 18 POST JUNE 2017 n a DC Universe that is brimming with sci- fi sound effects — such as those for Lex Luthor, Batman and Cyborg — it's refreshing to hear director Patty Jenkins's earthy approach to sound for Wonder Woman. "This film is big, but it doesn't have that in-your-face, huge, CGI Dawn of Justice feel," says dialogue/music re-recording mixer Chris Burdon at Warner Bros. London (www. "That is quite apparent early on as Wonder Woman opens in Themyscira, the island paradise that's home to the Amazons. It's a very feminine open to the film and that is unusual for a big set piece. It establishes this cool, slightly different vibe for the DC Universe." He shared the console with re-recording mixer Gilbert Lake, who handled the sound effects on the film. Wonder Woman's story unfolds during WWI. A pilot crashes near Themyscira and washes up on the island's shore. His tale of war inspires Amazon Princess Diana to take action. Being a warrior, she's compelled to leave her home to aid in his fight. Just because Wonder Woman isn't in-your-face, like Dawn of Justice, doesn't mean it lacks power. In fact, director Jenkins wanted a soundtrack with abundant low-frequency energy that would shake the room during action sequences. She called on supervising sound editor James Mather and composer Rupert Gregson-Williams to deliver material that could move the theater. "She didn't want to hear high-end, harsh, shrill sounds, like metal clashes. There are no guns that sound too loud. The crowds are less punchy, with their screams and so on. And, the entire soundtrack is music-led," notes Burdon. "One thing that can happen in an early mix is that if you are trying to go all guns blazing then, quite literally, you end up with an assault. This didn't hap- pen with Wonder Woman. There was no question that we were going to have a music-led mix, and so it evolved that way subsequently," he adds. According to Burdon, when listening to music cues during the big action sequences, like the beach battle sequence in reel two, Jenkins consistently wanted to push the low-end of the music a great deal, to have a driving, rhythmic feeling with lots of energy happening in the low-frequency range. "Having the music lead, in some ways, simplified some of the action sequences. It wasn't a typical big movie where you have directors, producers, cre- atives and the editor all pushing for music and mul- tilayered effects and the articulation of everything. This was slightly easier because Patty's starting point was that she didn't want huge effects. So for the beach battle, it's music-led. There was quite a lot of clarity for me, from music to crowd dialogue, in that battle sequence. Then we just embellished that with effects for the final," Burdon explains. "One of the last things we did for the beach battle — after we watched it through, was to add more energy to the low-end. Patty felt like it needed more low-end." A CHAT WITH RE-RECORDING MIXER CHRIS BURDON BY JENNIFER WALDEN Director Jenkins wanted an earthy approach to sound. The beach scene called for a driving, rhythmic feel. I

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