Right before the end of 2012, I had the pleasure of working on “The Defector”, written and directed by Lit Kilpatrick. I’ve also been chosen to sound design it this spring. Really psyched about that.
It’s centered around the interrogation of a North Korean defector in New York by a young Agent-in-training. It’s a lucid fictional account of the novice interrogator unexpectedly unraveling the painful details of the defectors decay from joyful and patriotic husband and father, to a hopeless fragment of a man with no one left. He’s tormented by the weight of actually knowing the evil his government committed against his family (enprisonment and eventual death in a labor camp), yet is irrevocably brainwashed and therefore shamed beyond his wits to have escaped to the West. Compounded by the grief of his loss and the fear of his own life, there is absolutely no hope for him.
As I manned Sound lone-wolf, I met some new challenges that really pushed me into new territory and helped me grow as a Location Sound-man.
The Lav-Miking was difficult, as the wardrobe was all business attire. It’s known to be one of the harder wardrobe styles to lav-mic because of the often-noisy and abrasive starchiness of the clothes. In the end I got what I needed, but not before trying some new tricks, like using static-spray to lubricate the clothes, and taping the hell out of the overlapping layers to minimizing clothing-to-clothing rubbing.
One of the most fun challenges of the shoot was miking a car interior. I took a page from a few veterans and rented an omnidirectional proximity mic. Below is a shot of me securing the mic into the moon-roof slot and fishing the cable along the rim, where it eventually found its way to the rear of the SUV. That’s where I crumpled up into a sound-man ball and monitored the dialogue like a spy. Too bad there’s no picture of that! Well, to be fair, Steve, our set photographer, probably couldn’t even see me back there. I was that sly.
Huge respect for the mega-talented actors and crew for bringing this intense and educational piece to life.