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Wisycom Chosen For Short Dramatic Film

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Wisycom was recently selected by Sound Mixer Matthew Sonnenfeld to capture audio in the remote woods of Pennsylvania for short dramatic film, STIFF.

Based on a true story and adapted from an essay by Ryszard Kapuscinski, STIFF is directed by Gabrielle Pfeiffer. The film takes place on a summer's day in 1970s rural America. A young factory worker is killed in an accident and six men must bring his body home to his family. When only five men agree to go, a seasoned journalist who is there to cover the story, joins the workers on their journey. Along the way, their truck breaks down in an isolated forest. The men decide to carry the coffin for the last stretch and get lost while taking a shortcut. As the forest grows darker, the exhausted men become disoriented and are weighed down by fear and despair. It is here where the journalist is forced out of his observer role and keep the men focused on pulling together to find a way out. A terrifying encounter turns to welcome relief that gives the men the strength to complete their journey.

"With STIFF being shot in the woods in Pennsylvania there was no way to get tech support or a replacement, if it was needed, so I had to make sure my equipment was 100 percent reliable," explained Sonnenfeld. "It was hot and humid during filming, and while some of my other equipment was having issues, my Wisycom wireless gear was completely flawless. Wisycom just works as it should and the speed of setup is incredible. It is very straight forward and easy to operate. Nothing gets in the way."

One challenge facing Sonnenfeld was having six actors on camera for the majority of the scenes. "We captured a lot of wide shots, so I had to live and die on the wireless," he said. "I used four Wisycom MTP40S transmitters and two Wisycom MTP41 transmitters. I also used one Wisycom MTB40 plug-on transmitter for a wireless boom, and three Wisycom MCR42S receivers. Flying the wireless boom when we could really was a big help. Because everything was shot was in the woods, sometimes running a hundred feet of duplex cable through poison ivy was just a little impractical! I had complete confidence in my work thanks to my Wisycoms."

In addition to his Wisycom gear, Sonnenfeld used DPA d:screet 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones, and a Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder with SL-6 powering and wireless system and CL-12 linear fader controller.

"I was able to count on my wireless in a way that I wouldn't be able to with other wireless systems," Sonnenfeld continued. "Knowing that I was getting the sound quality of the DPA and the Wisycom, and then the reliability of the Sound Devices and the SL-6, which also does RF filtering, really inspires confidence. There were times when moving the whole cart through mud and brush to get closer was impractical, so I would just put the MTB40 on the boom. I might not have been able to see the actors, but I could pick them up from my cart. Most of the time I was running at 50mW, which isn't high power for Wisycom, and there were some days I could bring it all the way down to 10mW. On these days I was able to get by with only one battery change towards the end of the day."

Director Gabrielle Pfeiffer added: "We were shooting with a large cast in a wide open space with very challenging sound conditions. It was clear that we could not have worked without Wisycom."


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