Production Sound & Video

Summer 2017

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14 WAGING WAR THE PRODUCTION SOUND TEAM GOES INTO BATTLE WITH CHRISTOPHER NOLAN ON DUNKIRK Nothing came easy for anyone on Dunkirk, including Pro- duction Sound Mixer Mark Weingarten. "It was challeng- ing recording Nolan's latest fi lm, but it's why we take the job and do the work," says the Oscar nominee. This is We- ingarten's second picture with the English director, hav- ing worked on Interstellar—the sci-fi epic, starring Mat- thew McConaughey—which fi lmed in diffi cult locations of Iceland and Canada. But even with that familiarity, and over twenty-fi ve years of experience, this production was his most diffi cult fi lm to date. "Dunkirk is very well known to every British schoolkid. It's sort of the British equivalent of the midnight ride of Paul Revere every American child knows," says Weingar- ten as we ate lunch at a Silver Lake restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Taking place in the early months of World War II, the historical moment dates back to May 1940 when Nazi Germany pushed back British, French, Belgian, Scot- by Daron James tish and Canadian troops to the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Surrounded by combatant tanks and aircraft, the only way to evacuate the nearly four hundred thousand troops was to send out a call for private naval vessels to help out the Royal Navy—including small craft that could get close to shallow waters. British civilians responded in droves joining the ef- fort in one of the greatest stories in human history. Nolan envisioned the account as a cinematic race against time—immersing the audience in the life-or-death situa- tion by land, sea and air—while unfolding the narrative through the eyes of only a few characters.

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