The Patriot
Page 2





As the threat of conflict with England looms, he speaks out against war. His first-born son, meanwhile, believes passionately in the cause and enlists in the Continental Army, then the militia. When the war comes literally to Martin’s doorstep and his family is attacked by the rogue Colonel Tavington, the reluctant hero enters the fray to save home and country.

It’s a simple story, but it’s told with such deftness and poignancy that audiences and critics are sure to respond. Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) penned the script, which was beautifully shot by Caleb Deschanel (The Right Stuff, Anna and the King), capturing the overwhelming scope of the battlefield and the softness of candlelight. Director Roland Emmerich, who with his producing partner Dean Devlin is best known for the effects bonanzas Independence Day and Godzilla, can now add storyteller to his resume.

For the sound team, it’s a dream package and a wide-open palette, but in a much different way from the typical blockbuster action picture. Kevin O’Connell, who with his partner Greg P. Russell has mixed more than his share of outrageous, anything-goes effects thrillers, including Con Air, Godzilla and Armageddon, says, “Unlike some of the other summer movies, we’re not using the sound to sell anything because this movie sells itself visually. All we are doing is supporting what we see. Our goal is to bring clarity and detail.”

There are any number of ways to achieve clarity and detail in a mix, ranging from the nakedness of a single Foley footstep to the intense breathing of a charging Mel Gibson in the heat of battle, to the subtlety of an isolated bullfrog in a swamp background. For supervising sound editor Per Hallberg, clarity begins in the selection and recording of elements (he brings few alternates to the stage), with solid low end and punchy highs offering the “taste” that he seeks. For the mixers, it’s all about looking at the film cut by cut, making use of the five screen channels in the SDDS format and constantly keeping movement in the tracks.

Page 3: Five Across the Front

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