PARK CITY, UT, FEBRUARY 6, 2020 – Indie film Dinner in America takes viewers on a precarious journey with a punk rocker and his fan-turned-love interest as they travel through middle America. Written and directed by Adam Rehmeier, the film was shot in many different suburban locations, which often presented unique audio challenges for the sound team. Rehmeier appointed Daniel S. McCoy, CAS, owner of production sound company, ToneMesa, to provide his trademark sonic fidelity for the project. To capture pristine audio despite sometimes noisy locations, McCoy turned to his trusted 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional, 4017B Shotgun Microphone and 4018B Supercardioid Microphone, along with the newly launched 6061 CORE Subminiature Mics from DPA Microphones.
McCoy found the discreet stature and high-quality sound of the 6061 CORE to be a joy to work with on-set. “Not only was it easy to hide the mic within the actors’ wardrobe, it also concealed better as a plant mic wherever we needed it,” he says. “I have always loved my 4061 lavalier mics and now, with the 6061 CORE Subminiatures, I can get even more dynamic range and frequency response, with higher fidelity than ever before. Considering it has an even smaller capsule, that sound simply blew me away. The 6061 CORE does a great job of capturing nuanced sounds, more detail in rooms, actors’ voices and hard sound effects.”
It was in noisy, less-than-ideal filming conditions where McCoy found the 6061 CORE mic to especially excel. “We shot one scene in a pet shop with an incredible amount of animal noise,” he explains. “Despite having to contend with birds chirping and a great deal of crosstalk, the 6061 CORE still provided the clarity of the actors’ voices that I needed. I never had to worry about distortion or the lack of intelligibility that you usually get with multiple hidden mics.”
During a punk rock concert scene towards the end of Dinner in America, McCoy heavily relied on both the 4061 and 6061 mics to capture an authentic concert sound. “I planted 4061/6061 CORE mics to capture the drum kit, bass and guitar amp,” he adds. “Using my 4017B and 4018B microphones on boom, with the 6061 CORE and 4061 miniatures on the actors and instruments, really took the audio to the next level. I did a mono board mix and positioned spot mics on every instrument and every head amp. It was a very pivotal, intense scene. All the music was beautifully captured, thanks to my DPA mics.”
McCoy also found the 6061 CORE incredibly useful in capturing the hard effects that sound editor Colin Alexander needed. According to McCoy, “Colin was very much appreciative of all the practical effects that we were able to record with the production soundtracks. He said they were so easy to work with and a pleasure to mix during his re-recording process. I was really honored that someone I admire so highly in post-production would be so complimentary of the assets they received from set.”
Recognizing that the American Midwest is often quite windy, McCoy selected a series of wind protection solutions from yet another Danish manufacturer, Bubblebee Industries, to complement the DPA microphones. “Wind is worse than any frequency problems; it’s all about controlling the wind in an outside environment,” he explains. “Using the Bubblebee solutions with my DPA mics proved to be the optimal setup for the American Plains.”
Dinner in America, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is an independent film that tells the story of Simon (Kyle Gallner), an on-the-lam punk rocker, and Patty (Emily Skeggs), a young woman obsessed with his band. Over the course of the film, the pair unexpectedly fall in love as they travel together through America’s decaying Midwestern suburbs.
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