Dane Cody employs DPA mics on Harrow and Dora
Australian production sound mixer Dane Cody has been especially busy, capturing the location dialogue for the second season of the ABC Australia television drama Harrow, as well as Paramount Players and Nickelodeon Movies’ film Dora And The Lost City Of Gold, a live action reimagining of the children’s cartoon Dora the Explora. He used microphones from DPA on both projects.
‘My role is primarily to ensure that the location dialogue from actors on a production is clean, intelligible and full bodied,’ Cody explained. ‘This is achieved every day through technical proficiency, creative problem-solving and unrelenting determination by my team and I to give editorial the best dialogue tracks we can to help shape a rich soundtrack for the audience. Using DPA on Harrow and Dora And The Lost City Of Gold resulted in superb sound quality. I’ve used DPA microphones many times in the past, but in my honest opinion the new Core 6000 and 4000 Series lavalieres are better than any they have previously manufactured. The build quality is very robust and they’re easier to hide on costumes than anything we’ve previously used.’
Cody employed the Danish manufacturer’s 6000 Series Subminiature microphones on Harrow, and d:screet Core 4061 miniature microphones for Dora.
On Harrow, Cody worked alongside boom operator Gunay Demirci, utility sound technician Kara Moolman and sound trainee Michael McEvoy to capture dialogue on and off screen using the DPA body worn microphones and boom mics. ‘When we started work on season two, DPA had just released its 6000 Series of subminiature microphones so we convinced the production to purchase four d:screet 6060 lavaliers,’ Cody revealed. ’ Season one’s sound team used older generation DPA body worn microphones, so this purchase created some semblance of continuity for the sound between the two seasons, which was very important to both sound editorial and me. The actors were far happier with the 6000 series than with any other lavalieres because they’re so easy to hide underneath costumes and don’t compromise on quality, which was always the trade off with other subminiature capsules.’ The microphones were supplied by Lemac via DPA’s Australian distributor, Amber Tech.
Dora was shot at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and in various locations around southeast Queensland. Cody and his team, once again comprising Moolman as utility sound technician and trainee McEvoy, as well as boom operator Ben Wyatt, faced a different set of challenges.
‘Studio films are the biggest challenge of all when it comes to getting a great location dialogue track,’ noted Cody. ‘You’re working on a large set with many lights, ballasts, generators, FX and wind machines, and a plethora of other infrastructure that all pose a challenge to the acquisition of clean and intelligible dialogue. The sound team’s role is largely diplomatic, working with all the other departments to minimise extraneous noise, before we can even get down to the business of recording and mixing dialogue.’
The 6000 Series had yet to be released during the project but Cody had read about DPA’s Core amplifier technology and decided to put it to use. ‘This was my first American feature film where I served as the main unit production sound mixer and I wanted to do my best work to date. I used six d:screet Core 4061 lavaliers, as well as two d:screet 4060 Slim lavaliers and two d:sign 4098 Supercardioid gooseneck microphones as plant microphones. These were supplied by John Barry Group and they came through just in time for pre-production.
‘There are many challenges to recording good sound but lacklustre gear choices shouldn’t be one of them,’ Cody concluded. ‘After receiving a glowing email from the dialogue editor on Dora, I feel validated and content in my decision to invest in DPA’s new technology.’