Unchaining Django’s sound


When Academy Award-nominated supervising sound editor Wylie Statemen sought a field recorder capable of providing the superior sonic quality needed to capture background and sound effects for Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award-nominated film Django Unchained, he turned to Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder.

Stateman, who has been recognised in the Sound Editing category for Django Unchained—the sixth time he has been nominated for an Academy Award—chose the 788T for its small size, reliability and ease of use.

With more than 30 years of motion picture experience, Stateman has a high set of standards when it comes to choosing gear for his film projects. The industry veteran bases his selection on sonic quality, robustness of build and reliability. As he typically works in “run-and-gun’-type recording environments, he also looks for small, lightweight equipment.

Says Stateman: “Although mobility is very important, there is no substitute for sonic integrity and reliability. Year after year we compare Sound Devices with other machinery and for several years now, the Sound Devices family of recorders has proven to be the best. Sound Devices equipment will continue to be a part of our field reconnaissance.’

For Django Unchained, Stateman used the 788T to record atmosphere, background, sound effects and samples for the film’s sound design needs. “We travelled to some pretty harsh environments, including Monument Valley and Death Valley, in order to capture authentic sounds for the film,’ explains Stateman. “I would say the majority of the post-production sound in Django Unchained owes its roots to the recordings made possible by the 788T.’

For the movie’s fight scenes, Stateman not only recorded the sound of guns, but the shots’ echoes as well. The same holds true for other weapons such as whips and chains, and various impulse devices, including signal cannons, blank guns and live firing weapons.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Django Unchained for an Academy Award in a total of five categories, including Sound Editing, Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Actor in a Supporting Role and Cinematography.


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