Engineering Service, Inc.
Tom Cruise, who famously performs many of his own stunts, doubles down on the derring-do in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the latest installment of the spy thriller franchise. Multi-award-winning British production sound mixer Chris Munro had to up his game 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, using Lectrosonics PDR Portable Digital Audio Recorders, 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 relied on 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 got his start in production sound in the early seventies and has been using Lectrosonics since his first film project in the United States. He didn’t own any Lectrosonics equipment until the mid-nineties, when the company introduced versions that operated in Europe’s radio frequency spectrum.
Munro says, “I typically use six channels of radio mics, though of course it could be more,” although he uses booms mics whenever possible for their superior fidelity. “That is not to say that I don’t appreciate radios,” he says, “but that I value them as tools that contribute to getting the best sound possible.”
Munro has worked on more than 80 films, winning Oscars for Gravity (2013), for which he also won a BAFTA, and Black Hawk Down (2001). He has also been recognized with multiple awards and nominations for his work on Wonder Woman (2017), Captain Phillips(2013), Quantum of Solace (2008), Casino Royale (2006), United 93 (2006) and numerous other films.
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