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Prahlad Strickland

The Last Samurai

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Always been a big fan with the soundtrack and location sound work on this film.

 

Jeff I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing a few memories with this film?

 

I don't mean to intrude and I hope this hasn't been discussed but I did use google to search for this.

 

The vocal sound is very smooth, very consistent and I think this is rare in a lot of films in the last 10 years. 

 

I appreciated your youtube video suggesting the dangers in using close booming for tight shots and more distant booming for mediums. Better to keep a distance that can cut well in post.

 

I wish there were more youtube videos like it, they are gold and no better to learn the psycology of sound then to learn through video as opposed to reading. 

We should have a monthly feature interview of some of our sound legends. Crew C, Jeff, Seantor (depends) etc etc.  Talk story etc.  No better way to learn.

 

I was very happy to hear you used 1 track for 80% of the film.  The boom mic.  

 

Something that really gets to me is how many films have unacceptable sibilance with vocal tracks, (especially on TV)    

 

So it was very refreshing to hear the boom was used for such a high percentage on this film. Obviously your boomy has a lot to do with the tone / mic used for the scene.

 

Anyway, great sound, would love to hear anything you can share :-)

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Yeh that's the video that made me want to post.  
There is a real lack of vidoes like it.  The video world has tons of them.  The only other really insightful one i've seen is from the movie AUstralia with Guntis Sics

 

Would love to see more.

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Very real and hard earned advice. Jeff could you possibly elaborate on your comment "a good conversation with the director in the morning will ensure a better sound track than any piece of equipment"? Thanks.

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Very real and hard earned advice. Jeff could you possibly elaborate on your comment "a good conversation with the director in the morning will ensure a better sound track than any piece of equipment"? Thanks.

What I'm trying to say with that statement is to highlight the importance of your working relationship with the people you are working with --- to have clear and reasonable communication regarding expectations, the scope of the project, how you are going to approach the work as a team. Also, to get a sense of the level of understanding, from the Director, of what you do, and how things are done properly. All of this requires from the outset a mutual respect between you and the Director (and the rest of the crew for that matter). The spirit of the statement is that you can show up with "state of the art" gear that is functioning perfectly at 100% but if you haven't already forged these all important relationships the potential success of the soundtrack is not assured.

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That's really good to read Jeff, thanks for explaining. I hadn't considered the need for mutual respect in quite the same deliberate way as you are suggesting. I like what you say about getting the director to understand what I am doing.

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I love the video! So many small details that Jeff mentioned made wanna stop, rewind and listen again and again... This is the first time for me hearing him and would love to watch and hear more!

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Awesome,  

Yeh,  I really wish there were more.  post production sound mixing has tons of it. Jeff's video and Gunters from "australia" are great vid's to watch...  there should be many more like it. 

I wish I lived on the mainland, i'd volunteer to produce location sound mixer interviews of the big hitters.

 

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Dare I say in the shadow of Jeff, that he contacted me to record stereo FX for the film.

 

We had a brief meeting and I was given a large crew plus 100 extras to achieve the task.

 

A pretty full day of fights, marching, orders and then weapons.

 

Recorded on DAT using my Sanken CSS-5.

 

Very exciting and a great pleasure!

 

Thanks Jeff, an honour too.

 

mike

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Mike West did a terrific job for us on The Last Samurai! What is really sad, though, is that on a film of this magnitude and budget, the production would only spring for one day of effects recording! We had our hands full, obviously, recording principle dialog every day, and it would have been so much better if we could have had Mike with us for many of those days throughout the shoot. There was a concurrent 2nd Unit shooting almost every day with a huge crew but NO SOUND.

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Awesome,  

Yeh,  I really wish there were more.  post production sound mixing has tons of it. Jeff's video and Gunters from "australia" are great vid's to watch...  there should be many more like it. 

I wish I lived on the mainland, i'd volunteer to produce location sound mixer interviews of the big hitters.

 

I thought about doing something like this a year or so ago. The inspiration came when I was mixing a movie. Almost every day someone on set was being interviewed by the media. While the director was being interviewed by the news I was joking around with my boom op saying, "wouldn't it be awesome if our department was interviewed just like everyone else. In fact, it would be hilarious if we kinda played a stunt on the cast/crew if we had someone come dressed like the old 50's news reporters. You know, wearing those bad ass suits and a hat that had a piece of paper that said press on it. Then they can walk up to the Director, in a 50's kinda voice,  and say hey Mr. Director what's it like working with Mr. Miramontes on this film? Would you say his contributions are an inspiration to the rest of the crew? "

 

We had a nice chuckle at this for a little bit. In fact, one of the main actors was hanging out with us and thought it would be a really great/funny idea to do the same to talent. You know, kinda switch the roles for once and ask them what it's like working with such a great sound mixer.

 

I think something like this would be a great stunt to pull and in essence remind everyone, in a funny way, that sound is also an important part of the film . I'm sure it would also be like sound mixer porn for us too since it would be great having a video series with tips/tricks from the big time mixers. 

 

Or we can all spare ourselves the effort and time and just watch this dude's videos. LOL

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