San Francisco, CA (October 6, 2016)—Claudia Katayanagi’s favorite Sound Devices gear was by her side for her debut as a documentary director on A Bitter Legacy, which won for Best Documentary at the Women’s Independent Film Festival.
Katayanagi’s long career in sound mixing and recording has taken her on location with HBO, PBS and the BBC. She has also made dozens of programs for San Francisco’s public media station KQED, and worked on feature films first and second units. A convert to Sound Devices’ portable recording and mixing equipment when the products first appeared on the market, Katayanagi owns a Sound Devices 302 three-channel field mixer, a 744T four-track audio recorder and a 664 12-input, 16-track field production mixer.
A Bitter Legacy recounts the concentration camps created by the United States government to confine Japanese Americans and others of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Given her limited resources as a first-time director, Katayanagi is also the documentary’s producer and its primary location sound mixer.
“During interviews, I would set up the boom and a lav mic on talent, and with my headphones on, I would conduct the interviews for hours at a time,” she says. “Knowing how well the 664 performed, I simply had to trust my ears as I directed the interviews, and several times, a re-enactment.”
She particularly enjoyed hearing the final product as a member of the audience during the film’s screenings. “I recently got to see and hear my film played in a theatre with a THX sound system for the first time and I was so blown away by how good my film sounded,” she says. “I give a large amount of credit to my Sound Devices 664, and to my sound editor and mixer, Philip Perkins.”
A Bitter Legacy screened in April at the Arizona International Film Festival and Vail Film Festival.