Oxfordshire, UK (July 31, 2018)—Multi-award-winning British production sound mixer Chris Munro had to step up his game for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, using Lectrosonics PDR Portable Digital Audio Recorders to capture Tom Cruise’s dialogue during the non-stop action.
Cruise, who performs many of his own stunts, doubles down on the derring-do in the latest installment of the spy thriller franchise, which finds Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. The film took in $153.5 million globally on its opening weekend, a franchise best.
To cleanly capture Cruise’s dialogue as the action star clambered aboard a moving helicopter, leaped from a high-altitude jet and sped through the streets of Paris, Munro used the PDRs as well as his existing arsenal of Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless equipment. “I used Lectrosonics on M:I – Fallout because of the range that could be achieved during the challenging car chase and helicopter sequences,” says Munro, who used SMb transmitter belt packs for this production.
For those situations where it was impractical to use wireless mics, including the skydiving sequences and some of the helicopter sequences, Munro used Lectrosonics’ PDR, a device the size of a small body pack that captures 24-bit, 48 kHz digital audio onto a Micro SD card with synchronized internal or jammed external timecode.
“We used the Lectrosonics PDR recorder quite a lot, mainly for the small size, but also for the timecode capability, as we were shooting very long takes on the helicopter sequences,” he says. “We also used a PDR to record all of the helicopter comms. This was particularly useful for the editor, as he could hear directions from the director, Christopher McQuarrie, which allowed him to identify which parts of the film were to be used.”
Munro, who typically uses DPA d:screet and Sanken Cos 11 lavalier microphone elements with his Lectrosonics transmitters, had to employ some different transducers for the helicopter and skydiving sequences, he reports. “This involved the use of bone conduction technology, which not only allowed us to record Tom Cruise’s dialogue in the helicopter and during a HALO [High Altitude Low Opening] jump, but also allowed us to interface with the helicopter RF to allow him to safely fly the helicopter.”
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