Pictured in the United Nations headquarters is production sound mixer Danny Michael.
Photo by Phil Bray.
NYC, November, 2004 — Production sound mixer Danny Michael has completed work for The Interpreter, the first feature film ever shot in The United Nations. Starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, the Sydney Pollack-directed thriller is scheduled for release in February, 2005.
“The United Nations is one of the most restricted environments in the world,” explained Michael. “It’s apparently number one on the terrorist hit list, so it was quite an undertaking to get en entire film crew in. We filmed in the General Assembly, and were even allowed into The Security Council for half a day. Needless to say, we had to work quickly and didn’t have much of a margin for error, so everything had to work flawlessly.”
Michael used a combination of Sanken microphones for recording at the UN, most prominently the CS-3e short shotgun. “I first used the CS-3e on The Stepford Wives and discovered that unlike the usual shotgun mics, it has a consistent directionality even below 1000 cycles. The beauty of the mic is that it rejects the low frequency rumble of the surroundings, while maintaining a pleasing tonal quality when recording the human voice.”
The Sanken CS-3 features a low-frequency CONTOUR switch. With this function, the low frequency response can be selected to accommodate those users looking for the more traditional added warmth they are used to with high-directivity in the low frequency ranges. The CS-3 maintains this sharp directivity for the targeted sound sources by utilizing the combination of a second gradient microphone and a line microphone. Measuring only 10.6 inches (27cm) in length, the CS-3 picks up chosen sound sources with extreme accuracy, even in noisy ambient environments or long reverberation spaces.
Michael also uses the Sanken COS-11s lavalier microphone, which has become a mainstay of film recordists. “The Sanken lavalier certainly works well when it’s hidden in a man’s tie, because of its small size and quality sound,” he explains. “But it also works well if you conceal it near the subject, when it can’t be hidden on the person.”
In addition, Michael also uses the Sanken CUB-01 boundary microphone in a variety of tough recording situations. “I first used the CUB-01 on 8 Mile,” Michael recalls. “We did a lot of filming in a car with anywhere from four to eight people all crunched up doing dialogue. There were two cameras filming and it got harder and harder to hide the mics in the car and still get the sound you needed. The CUB-01 has a very low profile but the quality of the sound from such a small mic is quite surprising. You can hide it in little nooks and crannies and get what you need. I’ve found that it’s a wonderful last minute mic when you’re in a tight spot.”
Danny Michael’s additional credits include Nobody’s Fool, Ransom, Scent of a Woman, Hannibal, and School of Rock, among many others.