DPA d:screet™ SC4060 and 4071 Miniature Microphones and d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun Microphones were recently employed to great effect during the making of a Près de Moi (Close To Me), the first full length feature film from the Award-winning director, Alex Guéry.
Guéry came to the attention of the international film industry in 2012 when he directed Les Dernières Marches (The Last Steps), a short film created for the 48 Hour Film Project that won the Project’s Best Film award in France and was nominated in two categories in the Hollywood final, including Best Director.
Keen to follow that success with a long form film, Guéry began a four-year process to develop Près de Moi, a psychological thriller about a grieving mother who lost her daughter and will do anything to prove she is still alive. Guéry also had to raise funds to make the movie – a task he managed by pulling together a tiny budget of just 10,000 Euro through private funding. Filming eventually got underway last summer on location at Chateau de Jallanges in Touraine, France, and took six weeks to complete.
“Près de Moi is the synthesis of my ten years’ experience in making short films,” Guéry explains. “I needed to take the next step into long form film making but with such a small budget to play with I had to rely on the support of a small team of passionate professionals, all of whom were determined to help make this film possible.”
Those passionate professionals included DPA Microphone’s French distributor Audio2. “This was such an exciting project that we were very happy to be involved from an early stage and to build a strong relationship with Alex, who is a marvellous young director,” says Audio2’s product specialist Christophe Bonneau. “Everyone involved was very enthusiastic about the movie. It just goes to show that you can make a great long format film without spending millions of Euros.”
To capture dialogue, sound recordist Nicolas Miljeu hid miniature d:screet™ SC4060 and 4071 microphones in the actors’ clothing and also in plants and flower pots located around the set.
“We used regular DPA concealers, which we either tapped onto the skin of the characters or hid in their shirt collars,” Miljeu says. “I was particularly delighted with the sound we achieved from the tiny SC4060 mics – they were amazing. The high sensitivity and low self-noise really helped us to capture the emotion of many scenes, particularly those where the microphones had to be as invisible as possible. We were even more impressed when we got into post production and realised the sound was so real that it seemed as though the actors were talking right in front of us. This had the added benefit of helping us save money in post because we didn’t have to spend time adding in FX.”
To capture sound on location, Miljeu used d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun microphones, plus a d:mension™ 5100 Surround Microphone.
“We had two d:dicate™ 4017 microphones,” he says. “One was mounted on a boom, while the other was mounted on the camera for those scenes where we needed to get in close and couldn’t use a conventional boom.”
Miljeu adds that normally a long form film would employ two boom operators, but because of budget limitations there was only scope for one. However, this didn’t detract from the sound achieved with the d:dicate™ mics.
“The results were very accurate and smooth, even at high frequencies, while the off axis sound (timbre/phase) was not modified in any way,” he says. “This was very impressive and everyone was delighted with the quality of the sound. We also loved the d:mension™ 5100 mic, which we used for ambience recording. It was such an easy mic to set up and the sound we got from it was incredibly natural.”
Alex Guéry was thrilled to have the support of Audio2 and delighted with his first introduction to DPA microphones.
“I had never use DPA mics before,” he says, “but right from the start they really impressed me because they stayed invisible during shooting, were exceptionally easy to work with and brought great joy to our ears when we were editing.”
Nicolas Miljeu adds that some takes were re-recorded in post but only to remove the sound of trucks and lawnmowers that had been picked up due to the proximity of roads and fields. For this task he used his own studio, recording onto Sound Devices via DPA d:screet™ SC4060 and d:dicate™ 4017B and 4006A microphones.
While Près de Moi is being completed in post, Guéry is working on some new short films including La Petit Fille du Marais. Although shot with a different team, the sound was once again recorded by Nicolas Miljeu using DPA microphones.
ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
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