Sound Devices’ 970 Captures Heated Audio for HBO Mini-Series Show Me a Hero
When production sound mixer Frank Stettner began wrapping up his work on the final season of HBO’s popular series Boardwalk Empire, he decided it was time to buy a new digital audio recorder. For his next project – HBO’s new mini-series, Show Me a Hero – Stettner chose Sound Devices’ 970 audio recorder for its robust 64-track capabilities thanks to the guidance of Gotham Sound.
Show Me a Hero is based on the real-life story of former Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicko, played by Oscar Isaac. The mini-series covers Wasicko’s battle with the federal courts, which in 1987 ordered the construction of public housing in the predominantly white, middle-class section of Yonkers. The events divided thecity, with several heated city council meetings disrupted by yelling and protests. Stettner knew that successfully capturing the audio of these recreations would require the recording of multiple ISO tracks.
To recreate the city council meetings, several cast members playing the council, the mayor and the clerk sat at desks with a microphone positioned in front of each actor. Stettner also needed to record four to five speaking parts from the actors depicting hecklers in the crowd. His second mixer captured the council’s audio, while he concentrated on the lines of the hecklers. Since there were three cameras shooting at the same time, the 970s were tasked with capturing the fast-paced dialogue from the whole scene–all angles, all the time.