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JBond

Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

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Most of us who used Nagras in the old days can't remember the old days....  Seems like many lifetimes ago.

I have a Nagra 4.2 and Sela mixer that I bought used from Audio Services, (LSC now).  I bought 2 4.2's but kept only one for my museum. The Sela and 4.2's were from 20th Century Fox so I'm sure they were used on a shit load of TV shows and Films. I then bought my expensive new Nagra IV S because time code became a necessity, I bought it from a start up company called Coffey Sound. (Now Trew Audio). And I bought a very nice Nagra III from Mr John Coffey a few years back. I love them all.

As for stories, well I really have none as the Nagras worked well everyday for years and years. Never a problem for me using one. Now I just look at them most of the time. Beautiful units.

CrewC

 

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There may not be a lot of Nagra stories, as Crew indicates, because few of us ever had any real drama behind the camera so to speak --- the machines were phenomenally reliable and predictable. As for figuring out what movies certain models were used on, a fairly reliable guestimate can be had by just knowing the year that the movie was in production. Also, even though there are way more models of recorders and accessories you have in your collection than any of us have had experience with (all the surveillance gear for example), there are really only a few models that were ever used. First would be the Nagra III (and I will later tell you some things about the first Nagra IIIs that cam into the US), followed by the Nagra IV, IVL, 4.2, the Nagra I-S (I had one but very few people in the US had that model), then the Nagra 4S followed by the 4-STC (timecode version). Most people finished up with the 4-STC as they moved on to DAT. I just about forgot about the Nagra D --- there were a few who used that beautiful machine.

 

At some point we could discuss the digital offerings from Nagra is that interests anyone.

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Here's a picture of Kirk Francis and I recording the basketball sequences for "Blue Chips" in Indiana with a 2 Nagra D's and my

Nagra IVSTC. We had like 4 boom ops and 4 cable people. One hell of a big sound crew. The D's were Nagras digital recorders that recorded to reel to reel tape.

CrewC

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Boom operator David Allen Smith (deceased) told me this story about 14 years ago:

David was in New Zealand around 1999,  working on  mountain-climbing-thriller "Vertical Limit". They were moving large amounts of production equipment to the top of the mountain via pallets, lifted by helicopter. The foothills, over which the helicopter flew, were dense forest, also covered in multi-feet deep snow. Inside an Anvil case, a new, unused STC was part of one of the helicopter runs.  Except when the helicopter landed on the mountain top, the Anvil holding the Nagra was not on the pallet. It had come loose mid-flight and fallen into the forest.  There was no practical way to retrieve it. Given the sturdiness of the case and the forest/snow breaking the fall, it is likely still there, intact. 

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JBond   

I thought I would start with the Nagra III then the IV-L 4.2 and the IV-s etc.
And get kind of a reference with certainty that someone knows without a doubt because they recorded it.
That a certain movie was filmed with that model Nagra.

The movie was only filmed once, one of you guys did it,  which recorder did you use?
That is kinda what I'm getting at. Match the recorder to a movie. How do I know that because the person who recorded it told me. I could actually end up with a list of what movies were reordered on what. 

 

Nothing puts a wow on someone face that can relate to a movie they know and love.

I know it's not a big deal to you guys it's old hat, but to us out in the real world knowing Jeff recorded the War of the Roses on a Dat is a big deal to me.  Ok that movie goes to Dat

I could point to a recorder and say this model Nagra recorded these movies. And the sound-man that recorded that movie was ......who? Rattling off a few favorite movies and the sound man's name who recorded it on this type of Nagra would be very cool to know and share.

 

Maybe the thread should have been "What movie did you record on your Nagra"

Guys no one knows this information except you.

Crew your collection looks very nice, 'the bus? I'll bet there are a few stories about that VW bus or what it represents? I had a 64 bus it was the most fun thing to drive around. Wish I still had it. Someday I just might get another one. Except for everything out here in the Northeast is rusted to shit.

Jeff from what I have read you started using that Dat recorder first, against the wishes of some, Is it possible Nagra would have made 3 more analog recorders if not for Jeff Wexler moving the industry into a different format and changing the way it was done forever? I would of have three more in my collection. (smiley face goes here)

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JBond   
On 1/30/2015 at 8:58 PM, old school said:

Here's a picture of Kirk Francis and I recording the basketball sequences for "Blue Chips" in Indiana with a 2 Nagra D's and my

Nagra IVSTC. We had like 4 boom ops and 4 cable people. One hell of a big sound crew. The D's were Nagras digital recorders that recorded to reel to reel tape.

CrewC

Nice I came so close to getting a Nagra D got outbid by only a few dollars never saw another one in my price range again. 

What do you mean you can't remember stories,  you just told one. 

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JBond   
On 1/30/2015 at 9:18 PM, pverrando said:

Boom operator David Allen Smith (deceased) told me this story about 14 years ago:

David was in New Zealand around 1999,  working on  mountain-climbing-thriller "Vertical Limit". They were moving large amounts of production equipment to the top of the mountain via pallets, lifted by helicopter. The foothills, over which the helicopter flew, were dense forest, also covered in multi-feet deep snow. Inside an Anvil case, a new, unused STC was part of one of the helicopter runs.  Except when the helicopter landed on the mountain top, the Anvil holding the Nagra was not on the pallet. It had come loose mid-flight and fallen into the forest.  There was no practical way to retrieve it. Given the sturdiness of the case and the forest/snow breaking the fall, it is likely still there, intact. 

I wonder if it will ever be found, that's a good story

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"Jeff from what I have read you started using that Dat recorder first, against the wishes of some, Is it possible Nagra would of made 3 more analog recorders if not for Jeff Wexler moving the industry into a different format and changing the way it was done forever? I would of have three more in my collection. (smile face goes here)"

 

Well, it didn't actually work like that. Nagra had already produced digital recorders when we started using DAT, just that most of them (with the exception of the Nagra D) were not really designed for movie work. I believe that Nagra had vastly cut back on even producing the analog recorders, may well have discontinued several models (of course the Nagra III was well "out of print" at this time). There are quite a few sound mixers who never went for the DAT format, only abandoning their Nagra when file-based recording really took off.

 

As far as cataloging what movies were done with what model recorder, I'm still a little puzzled why this would be of any great interest considering that there were so few models, so few changes, even guessing would produce pretty accurate results based on the year of production. Anyway, if you want, I can easily direct you to my resume (about 70 movies) and identify precisely what model recorder was used. I still believe that it is the transitions that are important --- the Nagra, all models, had an over 30 year run, guaranteeing that any movie made during those years would have been recorded on a Nagra. It gets a little messier at the first transition, 1989 with the DAT machines starting to be used, machines from several companies and many different models. Then the next transition, to file-based recording, echoed the Nagra's analog dominance in a way since there was only one machine, the Zaxcom Deva, for a few years before other companies started producing file-based recorders.

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Some years ago I did a job for Mickey Thompson, the race car driver. Mickey had progressed from driving the cars to running racing events. His company, Score, administered the Baja 1000 and he would shoot film of the events and also hire people to cover them for promotional purposes. I covered a Baja race for him and his staff film coordinator asked me to shoot a record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah/Nevada. i drove up there with my Eclair and, at the request of the coordinator, also brought along a Nagra in case there were an opportunity for an interview. I did manage to record an interview, not an easy task when one-man-banding, especially when shooting film.

 

Returning to LA, I turned over the film and tape to Mickey's coordinator and went home. It had been an experience. The salt flats are like snow and crunch underfoot like cold snow but everything is hot and dry.

 

Shortly after my return, I got a call from the coordinator. The transfer house had been unable to resolve my tapes because there was no sync signal present. I had a clear recollection of having checked both the sync flag and the AR flag and both were present. (We always called it an "all right" signal but I expect it actually referred to something in Swiss-German.) I immediately took the recorder to Audio Services (now Location Sound) to confirm operational integrity. They confirmed my worst fears- the recorder was not laying down a sync signal. The indicators of proper operation were all present, even the frequency on the QFM, but the sync signal wasn't there. I don't recall the exact cause, whether it was a broken trace or a failed component, but something had disrupted the link downstream from the test components.

 

I consulted with the techs at ASC and called Mickey's group to apologize. Then, taking the ASC advice, I contacted the transfer house and brought my Nagra to them. They made the transfer using my recorder, a IV-L at that time, as the master playback machine. A few days later, I heard from the coordinator. All was good. My machine ran so consistently that the tapes played back perfectly. He said that there was not a single frame of drift in several tapes of material. When shooting crystal sync (as opposed to tracking a sync generator on the camera motor) the ASC techs told me that a sync signal was only needed when making a transfer from a different recorder. A single recorder was likely to be so consistent that sync signals were unnecessary.

 

It's a testament to precision construction from Nagra. Maybe not the most sizzling story, more of a fizzle, but it impressed me at the time.

 

David

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Joseph: What a fabulous collection! As soon as I stop drooling all over my keyboard, I will try to come up with some interesting stories!

I first laid hands on a Nagra III when I was about 12 years old, courtesy of a friend of my father who owned a rental business. Even at that young age, I was bowled over by the beauty of the engineering, and developed an instant fascination with it.

Of course, it wasn't till many years later that I could truly appreciate the level of engineering talent that was brought to bear on the design, but it didn't matter, I was already hooked.

I'm pleased to see that you have done such a fabulous job of putting together a collection. I hope I might get to see it up close some day.

-Scott

"I don't care what they're talking about, all I want is a nice fat recording".

Harry Caul "The Conversation"

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sorry no pics at the ready but the topic took me way back - shooting what always seemed non-stop on one of B Kopple's docs, this one on Woodstock anniversary... a Nagra IV-S TC running the large 7' reels and as you run across fields to stay behind the cameraman whose running to stay ahead of the subjects, one eye always glancing at the recorder to catch the dreaded but inevitable spool off caused by all the hopping about before if got too bad... it looked real scary ugly sometimes but never quite a complete disaster, no crinkled tape: "just a sec..." as finger winds the take up reel back taught. It was the first year of the brilliant Aaton code and talked production into it, so everyone loved it, especially me not having to also schlepp a TC slate. 

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We can't blame Jeff for DAT--the industry was going to go digital but hard disk recording wasn't ready yet.  I was acutely disappointed in the Nagra D when I first saw it at an AES show--my first question to Danny Grimes was "Where do I attach a strap?"  I felt like Nagra had dropped the ball on moving into modern location recorders, and only really got back into the game much later with the Nagra VI.  By then we had Sound Devices, Zax, Aaton etc etc so the market was fragmented.   I had a similar experience with tapes from a rental Nagra with an out of spec motor controller, where getting the machine used to make the recordings for transfer saved the day.  Beside a few tape spool disasters my pilot Nagras always worked very well.  The TC Nagras were another story--there were serious teething problems with the IV-STC, as well as with the 3rd party modded machines.  On several occasions I had to bail on the TC Nagra and pull out the III I kept as a backup to keep the job going.  I loved the full-width mono sound…..

 

philp

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JBond   
On 1/30/2015 at 10:26 PM, Jeff Wexler said:

 

 

As far as cataloging what movies were done with what model recorder, I'm still a little puzzled why this would be of any great interest considering that there were so few models, so few changes, even guessing would produce pretty accurate results based on the year of production. Anyway, if you want, I can easily direct you to my resume (about 70 movies) and identify precisely what model recorder was used. I still believe that it is the transitions that are important --- the Nagra, all models, had an over 30 year run, guaranteeing that any movie made during those years would have been recorded on a Nagra. It gets a little messier at the first transition, 1989 with the DAT machines starting to be used, machines from several companies and many different models. Then the next transition, to file-based recording, echoed the Nagra's analog dominance in a way since there was only one machine, the Zaxcom Deva, for a few years before other companies started producing file-based recorders.

Yes, Jeff, I would really like to know, if you would that would be great.

 

Because it's more interesting to say, Do you know the movie An Officer and a Gentleman? Well, that movie was recorded on a machine just like this back in 198? by a man named Jeff Wexler.  He also recorded Nine to Five on a machine just like this one over here. 

 

Instead of saying, these machines over here also recorded movies - which movie? I don't know, all of them, I guess, between 1964 to 1988

 

 People relate to the movie they know when they know the movie it makes the recorder that much more interesting. I think anyway. I'm interested.

"I like to know somewhat, what I'm talking about when I'm talking about" JBOND

(if that's, not a famous quote then it's mine.)

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JBond   

One of my prize recorders is my IV-S TC. I bought it on ebay from a sound man. He just listed the recorder as a buy it now. I asked the guy what he did with the machine.

He said he is a production sound man and he hasn’t used his Nagra in years (just like you guys) - I think since 1988 or 89. He gave me a list of movies he recorded and a list of music videos. And I backed it up by visiting a website where his work was listed. I think he may have regretted selling it at first, but after I showed him where his recorder is I think he felt reassured, and maybe even a little proud, his machine in being preserved this way.

 

I found four of his movies on cd - bought them just to have with the machine. It's the only recorder I have where I know so much history. I am amazed I have the machine that actually recorded these movies. The movies are not in the category as Jeff Wexler’s movies, but what matters is they were recorded on the machine I have displayed in the case. This machine was that guy’s life for all those years he used it. He sat in front of it each day and made his living with pride. Now it’s in this picture in my case with a note sheet under it listing all the movies, some of the music videos and some of the commercials that were recorded on that actual machine. You would think it would be all beat up and worn out, but it’s not. He took very good care of it.

 

When I show family and friends my recorders starting at the top and working down they stand there in front of the case nodding like - big deal, that’s nice … yup. When I get down to the movie Nagras and tell them these movies were actually recorded with this machine, they light up and think it’s pretty cool. Funny I have the rarest Spy collection of recorders known. Yet with the movie recorders, both eyes seem to be open and it seems they’re paying attention! (Not too many people are interested in tape recorders - some with great interest, some just being polite.)

 

It’s hard for them to realize a small reel to reel recorder recorded the sounds for a movie. At first, some don’t believe me. I usually have to prove it. Now it is impossible to know the history of the other Nagra's. So I just say they recorded movies too. That's it - that’s all I can say about the other Movie Nagra's. No stories, no movies, nothing, just guessing if I did.

What I would like to say is this model Nagra here, not this one but this type of machine was used on the movie and rattle off a few movies that I know for certain were recorded on say the IV-L or the III or the 4.2 etc.

 

How do you know that? Well, I was told by the sound-man that recorded the sound for that movie. That was the same model machine that was used in that movie back in 1968 etc.

 

I know that might sound silly, but the movies recorded on these machines are going to be out there for an eternity.

If you’re a sound-man and you had one of these Nagras as your recorder, let me know what movies you used the machine with so I can put the movie, the year and the soundman's name to the correct machine for that movie (his movie). Does not matter the popularity of the movie.

 

In fact, I think Jeff should start a database based on the information you guys post here listing what movie was recorded with what machine that you guys remember, even DAT and other formats so the transition dates Jeff talks about will be clearer. You can’t just say this year this machine because how many still used their 4.2 when the IVS first came out. People just didn’t stop using their recorders at the 1972 IVS cutoff date, did they? So a movie in 1973 could have been three different recorders?

Its just an attempt to put the sound man's name to the movie and recorder that all.

 

Thirty years from now this information will be gone forever. Maybe it doesn’t matter at all and never will I don’t know. It doesn’t have to be every movie ever made, just the seasoned Nagra, DAT and transition format guys on this site.

As you should know I'm not the only Nagra collector out there, Nagra's are the most collected recorder and always will be. My Nagra part of the collection is probably very small next to some.

Out of the 115 recorders in the case only 20 are Nagra.

Sorry this is so long and probably hard to follow… thanks for your time.

 

 

7tWqpFo.jpg

 All photos marked RJW are copyrighted.  Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner.

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Bash   

An amazing collection Joseph, may I ask where this all is, as in which state? I dont expect a house address, but I'd love to know 'where in the World'?

 

Kindest, Simon B

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JBond   

Bash

Due to the sensitive nature of the spy equipment, the collection is never in one place more than 18 days. I don’t even know where it’s going next.

If I told you Vermont I would be lying because next week it might be in your town.

BOND

 

Seriously I would like to keep that private for now, so please don't show what I just said above to anyone.

Thanks

 

VIB04SY.jpg All photos marked RJW are copyrighted.  Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner.

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Here is a list of movies and the recorder(s) used on production. As I mentioned to JBOND it is a pretty boring list since the majority of movies, for me at least, used the mono Nagra 4.2.

 

 

JEFFREY S. WEXLER,  CAS   •   PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER 

 

    

Graduate: San Francisco State University, MA in Sociology

Member: IATSE Union Sound Local 695, Editors Guild 700,  Audio Engineering Society, SMPTE, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cinema Audio Society

 

List of Credits - Feature Films

Production Sound Recording

 

“Untitled Warren Beatty Project”

Warren Beatty, director, Warren Beatty, Jonathan McCoy, Sarah Platt, producers  6-14

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“Untitled Hawaii - Cameron Crowe”

Cameron Crowe, director, Ilona Hertzberg, Scott Rudin, producers, Sony Pictures  9-12

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“42”

Brian Helgeland, director, Thomas Hull, Dick Cook, Jon Jashni, Jason Clark, producers, Legendary Pictures  5-12

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“PARENTAL GUIDANCE”

Andy Fickman, director, Billy Crystal, Samantha Sprecher, Peter Chernin, Kevin Halloran producers, Twentieth Century Fox, Walden Media 10-11

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“WE BOUGHT A ZOO”

Cameron Crowe, director, Ilona Herzberg, Julie Yorn, producers, Twentieth Century Fox, 2-11

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“HORRIBLE BOSSES”

Seth Gordon, director, Brett Ratner, Jay Stern, John Cheng, and Diana Pokorny, producers, New Line Productions, 7-10

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“VALENTINE’S DAY”

Garry Marshall, director, Mike Karz, Josie Rosen, Wayne Rice, and Diana Pokorny, producers, New Line Productions, 7-09

Zaxcom Deva 5.8

 

“FOUR CHRISTMASES”

Seth Gordon, director, Guy Riedel, Jonathan Glickman, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, producers, New Line Cinema 12-07

Zaxcom Deva IV

 

“RUSH HOUR 3”

Brett Ratner, director, Andrew Z. Davis, James M. Freitag, Jay Stern, producers New Line Cinema  9-06

Zaxcom Deva IV

 

“FROM WHARF RATS TO LORDS OF THE DOCKS”

Haskell Wexler, director, Ian Ruskin, The Harry Bridges Project, producers  2006

Zaxcom Deva IV and Tascam DA-98

 

 “MAMA’S BOY”

Tim Hamilton, director, Heidi Santelli, Ravi Mehta, producers Warner Independent 6-06

Zaxcom Deva IV

 

“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3”

J.J. Abrams, director, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, Stratton Leopold, producers C/W Production for Paramount Pictures, [all Digital  production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format] 7-05

Zaxcom Deva IV

 

 “THE FAMILY STONE”

Thomas Bezucha, director, Michael London, Jennifer Ogden, producers, Twentieth Century Fox,

[all Digital  production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  2-05

Zaxcom Deva IV

 

“ELIZABETHTOWN”

Cameron Crowe, director, Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise, producers, Paramount Pictures [all Digital  production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  7-04

Zaxcom Deva II

 

“THE LAST SAMURAI”

Ed Zwick, director, Chuck Mulvehill, Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise, producers, Warner Bros. Picture, Studios [all Digital  production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  10-02

         • nomination, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 2003 •

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“GILI”

Martin Brest, director, Casey Silver, John Hardy, producers Revolution Studios

[all Digital production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  12-01

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“STEALING HARVARD”

Bruce McCulloch, director, Brian Grazer, Susan Cavan producers Imagine Entertainment/Revolution Pictures  [all Digital production recordings Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  4-01

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“VANILLA SKY”

Cameron Crowe, director, Jonathan Sanger, Paula Wagner producers, Paramount Pictures,

[all Digital productions recordings - Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]    11-00

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“RAT RACE”      (US portion)

Jerry Zucker, director, Paramount Picture  9-00

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“61*”

Billy Crystal, director, Bob Colesberry, Billy Crystal producers, HBO Original Pictures [all Digital productions recordings - Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]   6-00

        Emmy nomination, Best Achievment in Sound Mixing, 2001 •

        • C.A.S. nomination, Best Achievment in Sound Mixing, 2001 •

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“ALMOST FAMOUS”

Cameron Crowe, director, Ian Bryce, Lisa Stewart, producers, DreamWorks, SKG film [all Digital productions recordings - Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  5-99

        WINNER, British Academy Award, Best Sound •

        • nomination Golden Reel Award

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“FIGHT CLUB”

David Fincher, director; Art Linson producer, Twentieth Century Fox production

[all Digital productions recordings - Direct-to-Disk DEVA format]  6-98

Zaxcom Deva II and HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“THE SEIGE”            (Los Angeles portion)

Ed Zwick, director; Linda Obst and Peter Schindler, producers, a Twentieth Century Fox film; [all Digital productions recordings - Direct-to-Disk DEVA format] Los Angeles portion of film  -  4-98

FIRST FEATURE FILM with Zaxcom Deva I (and HHB PortaDat TCD1000)

 

"HURLYBURLY"

Anthony Drazan, director; H. Michael Heuser, Richard Gladstein and David S. Hamburger, producers, a Carol Drive Production, [all Digital productions recordings]  12-97

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

        

"MY GIANT"

Michael Lehmann, director; Peter Schindler and Billy Crystal, producers, a Castle Rock Picture,  [all Digital productions recordings]    6-97

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

"RED CORNER"

Jon Avnet, director; Jon Avnet and Charles B. Mulvehill, producers, MGM Pictures,  [all Digital productions recordings]  3-97

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“AS GOOD AS IT GETS”

James L. Brooks, director, James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai and John D. Schofield, producers Tri-Star Pictures, [all Digital production recordings]  9-96

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

        

“JERRY MAGUIRE”

Cameron Crowe, director, Bruce Pustin, James L. Brooks, producers, Tri-Star Pictures    

[all Digital production recordings]  3-96

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“INDEPENDENCE DAY”

Roland Emmerich, director, Dean Devlin, Utt Emmerich and Bill Fay, producers, a Twentieth Century Fox film,[all Digital production recordings]  8-95  

        • nomination, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1996 •

        • nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1996 •

HHB PortaDat TCD1000  

    

“DRACULA - DEAD AND LOVING IT”

Mel Brooks, director, Peter Schindler producer, a Castle Rock Entertainment Picture,  [all Digital production recordings]  5-95

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

 “GET SHORTY”

Barry Sonnenfeld, director, Danny DeVito and Barry Sonnenfeld producers, an MGM Picture,[all Digital production recordings]  1-95

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“FORGET PARIS”

Billy Crystal, director, Peter Schindler and Billy Crystal producers, a Castle Rock Pictures film, [all Digital production recordings]  9-94

HHB PortaDat TCD1000

 

“STRANGE DAYS”

Kathryn Bigelow, director, Steven-Charles Jaffe and James Cameron, producers,  a Lightstorm Entertainment film, [all Digital production recordings]  5-94

Fostex PD-2 DAT

 

“CITY SLICKERS II - THE LEGEND OF CURLY’S GOLD”

Paul Weiland, director, Billy Crystal and Peter Schindler producers, a Castle Rock Pictures film, [all Digital production recordings]  8-93

Fostex PD-2 DAT

 

“A PERFECT WORLD”

Clint Eastwood, director, Mark Johnson producer, a Malpaso Production for Warner  Bros., [all Digital production recordings]  4-93

Fostex PD-2 DAT

  

“ROBIN HOOD - MEN IN TIGHTS”

Mel Brooks, director, Peter Schindler producer, Brooksfilms production for Twentieth Century Fox release,[all Digital production recordings] 1-93

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

            

“THE VANISHING”

George Sluizer, director, Larry Brezner and Paul Schiff, producers, a Twentieth Century Fox film,  [all Digital production recordings]  4-92

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

    

“MR. SATURDAY NIGHT”

Billy Crystal, director, Peter Schindler, producer, Castle Rock  Entertainment picture, [all Digital production recordings]  11-91

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

 

“JACK THE BEAR”

Marshall Herskovitz, director; Bruce Gilbert, producer; Twentieth Century Fox picture;   [all Digital production recordings]  4-91

 SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

   

“OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY”

Norman Jewison, director;  Ric Kidney, producer; Yorktown Productions  for Warner  Bros. release; [all Digital production recordings]  11-90

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

 

“CLIFFORD”

Paul Flaherty, director;  Larry Brezner, producer for Orion Pictures;

[all Digital production recordings]  8-90

StellaDAT I

  

“THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE”

John Bailey, director; Paula Mazur, Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner,  producers;

[all  Digital production recordings]  5-90

 SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

 

“SOUNDS LIKE THE REEL WORLD - CINEMA DIGITAL SOUND”

[demonstration showcase film for the first all Digital Release Print format]

Jerry Kramer, director; Alan Kozlowski & Sandra Hay producers, a  Visualize Production for ORC/Kodak Presentation film; Creative Sound Supervision and digital production sound recordings and post-production supervision;  

[first all Digital recordings from  production to CDS digital release print master]  3-90

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode)

 

“GHOST”

Jerry Zucker, director;  Steven Charles Jaffe, Lisa Weinstein, Howard Koch producers,  Paramount  Pictures  7-89

SONY DCD-10 Pro DAT (non-timecode) and Nagra 4.2

 

“THE WAR OF THE ROSES”

Danny DeVito, director;  Doug Claybourne producer,  20th Century Fox  3-89

SONY DCD-10 (non-timecode)

    

“EVERYBODY'S ALL-AMERICAN”

Taylor Hackford, director; Taylor Hackford producer, a New Visions Picture for Warner Bros.,   1-88

Nagra 4.2

 

“MEMORIES OF ME”

Henry Winkler, director;  Michael Hertzberg, Alan King producers, MGM Pictures  9-87

Nagra 4.2

 

“THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN”

Danny DeVito, director;  Larry Brezner and Arne Schmidt producers, Orion, 4-87

Nagra 4.2

 

“SPACEBALLS”

Mel Brooks, director; Ezra Swerdlow and Mel Brooks producers,  MGM Pictures; 12-87

Nagra 4.2    

        

“TIN MEN”

Barry Levinson, director;  Mark Johnson producer,  Walt Disney Pictures, 6-86

Nagra 4.2

    

“8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE”    

Hal Ashby, director;  Steve Roth producer,  SFR Films  7-85

Nagra 4.2

 

“SWEET DREAMS”    

Karel Reisz, director;  Bernard Schwartz producer

Nagra 4.2 and Nagra IV-S

 

“AGAINST ALL ODDS”

Taylor Hackford, director;  William S. Gilmore producer,  Columbia  Pictures; ’83

Nagra 4.2    

 

“THE NATURAL”

Barry Levinson, director;  Mark Johnson producer, Tri-Star picture, 8-83

Nagra 4.2 and Nagra IV-S

 

“CREATOR”

Ivan Passer, director; Stephen J. Freidman producer,  Kings Road Productions, 2-84

Nagra 4.2    

        

“THE SLUGGER'S WIFE”

Hal Ashby, director;  Ray Stark producer, Rastar Production for Columbia Pictures  5-84

Nagra 4.2

            

“LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER THE ROLLING STONES MOVIE”

Hal Ashby, director;  Ronald Schwary producer,  ’82

Nagra 4.2 for film documentary sound, concert recording by The Record Plant mobile

 

 

“LOOKIN' TO GET OUT”

Hal Ashby, director;   Andrew Braunsberg, Robert Shaffel producers,  Lorimar Telepictures;  4-80

Nagra 4.2

 

“STAYIN' ALIVE”

Sylvester Stallone, director;  Robert Stigwood prod.  Paramount Pictures   11-82

Nagra 4.2

 

“TABLE FOR FIVE”

Rob Lieberman, director;  Bob Schaffel producer,  CBS Theatrical Films   4-82

Nagra 4.2

 

“THE BLACK MARBLE”    

Harold Becker, director;  Joseph Wambaugh producer

Nagra 4.2

 

“AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN”

Taylor Hackford, director;  Marty Elfand producer,  Paramount Pictures;  4-81

Nagra 4.2    

 

“THE BRINKS JOB”

William Friedkin, director;  Ralph Serpe/ Dino De Laurentis producers

Nagra 4.2

 

“9 TO 5”

Colin Higgins, director;  Bruce Gilbert producer,  20th Century Fox  film

Nagra 4.2

 

“BEING THERE”

Hal Ashby, director; Jack Schwartzman,  Andrew Braunsberg producers,   1-79

Nagra 4.2

 

“FOUL PLAY”    

Colin Higgins, director;  Ed Milkis and Tom Miller producers, Paramount Pictures  12-77

Nagra 4.2

 

“COMING HOME”

Hal Ashby, director;  Jerome Hellman,  Bruce Gilbert producers,   2-77

Nagra 4.2

 

“BOUND FOR GLORY”

Hal Ashby, director;  Robert F. Blumoff & Harold Leventhal  producers for  United Artists;   7-75

Nagra 4.2 and Nagra IV-S

 

"THE FOUR DEUCES"

William H. Bushnell, Director, AmeriEuro Pictures Corp., Menahem Golan, Producer, 1976

Nagra 4.2

 

"PRISONERS"

William H. Bushnell Jr., Director, John Seig, Producer, Williams Films, 1975

Nagra 4.2

 

"BOGARD" (aka "Black Fist", "Get Fisk")

Timothy Galfas, Director, Charles L. Hamilton, Producer, Centaur Productions for New Line Cinema, 1974

Nagra 4.2

 

"BEST FRIENDS"

Noel Nosseck, Director, Paul Cowan, Noel Nosseck, Producers, Crown International Pictures, 1973

Nagra 4.2

 

"ENTER THE DRAGON" (US portion)

Robert Clouse, Director, Paul Heller, Fred Weintraub, Producers, Sequoia Productions for Warner Bros., 1973

Nagra 4.2

 

"INVASION of the BEE GIRLS"

Denis Sanders, Director, Fred Weintraub, Producer, Sequoia Pictures, 1973

Nagra IV-L

 

"PRIVATE PARTS"

Paul Bartel, Director, Gene Corman, Producer, Penelope Productions Inc., 1972

Nagra IV-L

 

"GREASER'S PALACE”

Robert Downey, Sr., Director, Cyma Rubin, Ron Nealy, Producers,

Greaser's Palace Ltd., 1971

Nagra IV-L and Nagra III

 

"COOL BREEZE"

Barry Pollack, Director, Gene Corman, Producer, Penelope Productions Inc., 1972

Nagra IV-L

 

In addition to the feature film work, work has been completed on numerous television commercials,  video productions,  music videos and special presentations, documentary and educational films and post-production sound work. Co-founder and Director of Northstar Media Sound Services, 1980 to 1994. February 19th, 2011 awarded the CAS Career Achievement Award, CAS’ highest honor. 

 

 • Post-Production and Sound Related Work:

 Pre-production and post-production sound supervision and consultation done on the following:

 

“Let’s Spend The Night Together”

“Lookin’ To Get Out”

“Sounds Like The Reel World” - Cinema Digital Sound    

“Other People’s Money”

“Robin Hood: Men In Tights”

“A Perfect World”

“Tin Men”

“8 Million Ways To Die”

“Being There”

“The Slugger’s Wife”

“Sweet Dreams”

“Mr. Saturday Night”

“Throw Momma From The Train”

“Forget Paris”

“Get Shorty”

“The Search For Intelligent Signs of Life in the Universe”

“Harold and Maude” *

“The Last Detail” *

“Shampoo” *

“Second Hand Hearts” *    

“Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll” *

“The Milagro Beanfield War” *

“Latino” *

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I have a stupid Nagra story...

 

I was more or less starting out in sound, having been a video a guy for a number of years. A friend, Sean Rush, who I had worked with on "The Parent Trap" when I was doing vfx video assist, hired me to fill in for his utility on "JAG" for a few days.

 

Sean was using a Deva II and a Nagra backup. I'm not sure he ever owned a DAT machine. I had seen plenty of Nagras over the years, but as a video person I had never actually used one. It was the first Nagra I had encountered in use as a sound person. DAT machines were most common, and the Deva II was on a few carts. I was familiar with both of those.

 

The last shot of the day was two booms over a set wall, cables run. The 1st AD called wrap, and I climbed down, disconnected the cable and went back to Sean's cart to return the mic and pole. There I found an empty chair and a Nagra in rewind... flapping away. Sean was on his way home. I figured it all out, Deva II drives, 1/4" tapes, etc.

 

Next day I laughed about it with Sean who said, "You're a smart guy. I knew you'd figure it out."

 

Sean was incredibly fast at reloading his Nagra. I saw him do it in a matter of seconds between takes. Very cool.

 

The only other time I saw one in use on set was on "The Assassination of Jesse James" with James Clark. We worked on the reshoots, and he had to rent a Nagra, as the director had insisted one be used as the primary recorder.

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JBond   

Very impressive Jeff that is exactly what I’m looking for. You have a lot of impressive movies in your career.

This list shows exactly the time you switched to DAT and other recorders. 
 
 I think I will be on the lookout for that Sony and the StellaDAT1
I think I can stuff a couple more recorders in that cabinet.
 
I don’t know why every movie doesn’t list the recorder like you just did. It certainly does not look out of place listing the recorder with the rest of the information. 
I see way back in 1975 you used the IVS but you kept using your 4.2 mostly after that.
Did you like the 4.2 better? Looks like that was your baby.
 
To my point, if someone had to guess what you used to record Spaceballs in 12-87, they would most likely be wrong, or am I wrong in that thinking?
 
Hopefully, your list will prompt others to follow your lead.
 
Thank you very much, Jeff I really appreciate the list.

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"I think I will be on the lookout for that Sony and the StellaDAT1"

 

The Sony TCD-10 was the first DAT machine that was available in the US. The first one I had was actually a gray market one from Japan and the owners manual was all in Japanese (nice pictures and diagrams though). One of the reasons DAT took a little time to catch on was that for a period of time it was illegal to import a DAT machine to the US. Similar to the famous "Betamax suit" many years before, the music industry was lobbying Congress to pass laws to prohibit the sale of digital machines which they claimed would decimate the music sales in this country. There were some trade and import rules imposed, copy guard restrictions built into certain machines and a whole lot of other nonsense that I won't go into here.

 

The StellaDAT was the first entry into the DAT format world that was not from a Japanese company. We had all been waiting for a machine that would be Swiss made and up to the standards we had been used to with the Nagras. Nagra had formally said that they would not build a DAT format machine but Stellavox decided to build one. It was a beauty, Swiss design, beautifully machined parts, totally professional and aesthetically pleasing fart and above any of the other DAT machines --- but it was a disaster! Lots of problems (I had 2 of them) and I finally gave up on it.

 

"I don’t know why every movie doesn’t list the recorder like you just did. It certainly does not look out of place listing the recorder with the rest of the information."
 
Well, I disagree with you there because for so many years and so many movies, only one recorder, a Nagra, and only one model, whatever the current model, was the recorder being used. No one had to make a choice, think about what recorder would be best for the movie or TV show, you used a Nagra III during this period of time, then a Nagra IV, then a IV-STC. I stuck with the mono Nagra since I never felt the need for 2 tracks or timecode. The majority of mixers who purchased Nagra IV-STC did so as to have timecode capability which was a necessity for commercials. Timecode, TC slates and all that came much, much later to feature films and by then many were already on to timecode DAT or file-based recording.
 
"I see way back in 1975 you used the IVS but you kept using your 4.2 mostly after that.
Did you like the 4.2 better? Looks like that was your baby."
 
I definitley preferred the mono 4.2 over the Nagra IV-S or STC. Since I had pretty much stopped doing commercials and was doing feature films I didn't need the timecode capability --- most feature films were still using conventional clap slates.

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Here is a picture of the StellaDAT --- for those of you who have never seen it in person, I'm sure you can tell even from this picture that it was a beautiful example of Swiss engineering and design.

 

post-1-0-56621900-1422749584_thumb.jpg

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The joke with the Stelladat is that while the case was beautiful and the electronics Stella hi-fi, the tape transport came from the same 2 Japanese factories that made all the DAT transports, top-loader or other.  So in the end the critical parts, the tape transport, the heads and the cassettes themselves were no more reliable than Fostex or HHB or etc.   That's why Nagra decided to stay away from the madness I guess--there was no way they could afford to build out a factory to make those dinky helical-scan transports and head assemblies.  DATs were really made by far fewer companies than there were brands for.  HHBs looked suspiciously like Sonys (the manuals are even in the same font and structure), Tascams and Casios were obviously the same machine with different features.   DAT seemed so cool when it came along (and overpriced…), but we were so used to the longevity, reliability and serviceability of Nagras that we didn't realize that compromises in the basic design of DAT systems meant that even expensive pro-level machines were really just consumer components in a fancy box.

 

Just when I thought my respect for Jeff W could go no higher, I notice that you were able (at least in feature work) to avoid the madness of the CTTC Nagras: your resume jumps straight from Nagra 4.2 to DAT w/o any IVS-TC jobs.  Well done!  (And you got out of DAT ASAP, I see.)

 

philp

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JBond   
On 1/31/2015 at 7:50 PM, Philip Perkins said:

 

 

Just when I thought my respect for Jeff W could go no higher, I notice that you were able (at least in feature work) to avoid the madness of the CTTC Nagras: your resume jumps straight from Nagra 4.2 to DAT w/o any IVS-TC jobs.  Well done!  (And you got out of DAT ASAP, I see.)

 

philp

And Philip you were able to see what he used with what movie for the first time today for the span of his career. 

I still say that's a good thing.

It lets you see the rest of the picture The part you could only guess.

 

Wondering did the final sound output improve with the DAT vs 4.2 Can you professionals hear the difference from one movie to the other?

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JBond   

A 1952 Nagra II

Hows that plug in meter.

 

YqPAORF.jpg

 

 

 

Nagra II 1954

 

Oh boy I could find a spot for these two Nagras

 

Picture courtesy of 695 Quarterly

 

Hy6fOor.jpg

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JBond   

Jeff, can you post some of your in action Nagra pictures to this thread?

In fact, could everyone post their Nagra pictures to this thread?

I don't want it to be just my pictures, this thread is about you guys and your Nagras

How about some Nagra 6 pictures too in action, anything Nagra

 

 

 

 

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