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Lectrosonics SM Transmitter Used In Film ‘The Flock’

Actor Richard Gere has a Lectrosonics SM transmitter strapped to his ankle by the film’s sound utility specialist, Lesa Foust. (photo credit: Ken Regan, Camera5)

Production sound mixer David Daniel encountered an on-set mishap during the first 10 days of filming The Flock, an upcoming movie starring Richard Gere and Claire Danes, while shooting on location in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Rio Rancho could have been anywhere,” says Daniel. “It didn’t occur to me until I was into the shoot and Claire goes to the restroom and drops her transmitter into the toilet that the Lectrosonics plant was around here somewhere. Thankfully, it turned out to be a suburb of Albuquerque. I called and, before I left the set that day, Karl Winkler from Lectrosonics was on the set with two replacement transmitters including one of the new SM Super Mini units.”

The SM super-miniature transmitter was quite welcome on the set, Daniel adds. “In this world, the wardrobe department always complains about transmitters causing big lumps. Using the new SM transmitter certainly reduced the amount of moans from wardrobe.” The unit also caught the eye of actor Gere, who plays a public safety agent in the film. “Richard saw the tiny SM and fell in love with it.”

Gere had been wearing an older Lectrosonics RF transmitter, but it was difficult to rig it on his ankle because his role involved a lot of running, says Daniel. “The first day, Gere said, ‘I like this transmitter on my ankle,’ but there’s just not enough meat around his ankle to hold it in place. Then, some time within the first week, Gere whacked his shin. We couldn’t swap the transmitter to the other side because the role required him to have a gun down there, which he goes to with a certain frequency. So the prop department gave me a leather holster. We lined it, put the tiny SM inside and taped it to his ankle to solve the problem.”

This shoot relied very heavily on wireless sound equipment. “Just about everything that I did on this show went through Lectrosonics,” Daniel says. “A couple of car mounts were hard-wired, but the booms were wireless.” Although some scenes featured only two actors, the wireless receivers were lit up for most of the shoot, Daniel reports. “Every set of LEDs was going off on damn near every scene. I had six radio mics, and I had to have them ready at any moment. If the actors had lines on the page, then they walked onto the set with a transmitter on them.”

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