Auckland, New Zealand (August 7, 2006)–With over 40 years experience on location everywhere from Africa to Asia, production sound mixer Mike Westgate knows what it takes to get the job done, so when it comes to his wireless technology, he looks to Lectrosonics.
Among his numerous credits, which include Roger Donaldson’s The World’s Fastest Indian and Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai, Westgate is particularly fond of his documentary work with Jacques Cousteau and, more recently, his son Jean-Michel Cousteau. Westgate has worked for the Cousteau’s since 1986 and has handled location sound on more than eight expeditions for the documentary program Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, including Sharks at Risk, Voyage to Kure, The Gray Whale Obstacle Course and America’s Underwater Treasures.
While on Kure, Westgate was charged with the task of capturing the various sounds of a very small, nocturnal bird called Bulwers Petrel. “To foster breeding, said Westgate, “the US Wildlife Service placed a number of rearing boxes for the birds to call home. Since it was the sound of the chicks we wanted to record, the only way to accomplish this was to place a radio mic by one of the boxes and a microphone inside. This way, I could capture the birds from a remote location without scaring them. I couldn’t possibly have done this without the Lectrosonics equipment. Further, because of its diminutive size and rugged design, the MM400a was absolutely perfect for this task.”
Westgate reports using Lectrosonics gear since 1997 for a wide range of projects, including documentaries, feature films, and television. “I’m a big fan of Lectrosonics. I work under some very demanding conditions, so the gear takes a fair amount of abuse and it has to work consistently. The build quality, the logical menus, and the level of support the company provides are first rate. It all adds up to a very positive field experience.”