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Emmy Sound Part 2: Don Draper and Dragons

Nominated sound editors and sound mixers describe work on "Mad Men," "Nikita" and "Game of Thrones."

Mad Men Hamm - P 2013
AMC

In Part 2 of this series, THR continues its look at some of the Emmy nominees for sound mixing and sound editing, who describe their work in their own words.

Mad Men, “The Flood”

Outstanding sound mixing for a comedy or drama series (one hour)

Peter Bentley, sound mixer

Ken Teaney, re-recording mixer

Alec St. John, re-recording mixer

Explains Todd-AO’s Teaney: “The entire point of this episode was to capture the fear and uncertainty that swept through the United States at the news of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Riots broke out and there were strong feelings on all sides. People didn't know what was happening. Every time they heard a siren, there was fear. The country held its breath listening to the news and we used a continuous newscast, futzed through many different TVs to show that everyone was watching and waiting. However, in the middle of it all, people's lives went on. Don had to pick up his kids, and in doing so, forever scarred them as they drove through the chaos. As we look at the kids, sound tells the story of what they are seeing: fire, police, fear. One man, who was at the event recreated in the show commented, ‘It felt like the cops were driving through the lobby to get to Harlem.’ So we used that remembered emotion as a guide, blazing sirens through the lobby. We painted the fear, the rage and the uncertainty of that time with sound, to make a picture of that day.”

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Nikita, “Aftermath”

Outstanding sound editing for a series

George Haddad, sound supervisor

Ruth Adelman, sound editor

Chad J. Hughes, sound editor

Steve Papagiannis, sound editor

Dale Chaloukian, sound editor

Ashley Revell, music editor

James M. Bailey, Foley artist

Joseph Sabella, Foley artist

Explains Todd-AO’s Haddad: “We had an opportunity for sound to play a role in the hyper-realistic scene where we had an ex-mercenary trapped in a small space surrounded by police. The use of moving sound around and across the six-speaker setup gave it the feel it needed to create the tension. We had the sound of the police on the exterior filled with radio walkies, voices from the police surrounding the house, helicopter hovering. … We were selling that they are ready to capture this person or it would be difficult to get away. On the inside when we’re with the mercenary, we had all the exterior sounds playing at a different volume perspective. As we went back and forth from inside to outside over time the sound started to change in placement as the hostage started to figure a way to escape. The walkies just played in the surround, the helicopter was on one side, and the other sounds were panned elsewhere. It gave the impression that the hostage was well-trained to plan a way out. In his head the sound went from clustered to organized which helped him figure out the right time and way to escape.”

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Game Of Thrones, “And Now His Watch Is Ended”

Outstanding sound editing for a series

Tim Kimmel, supervising sound editor

Paula Fairfield, sound editor

Tim Hands, supervising ADR sound editor

Jed M. Dodge, supervising dialogue editor

Bradley C. Katona, sound effects editor

David Klotz, music editor

Brett Voss, Foley editor

Jeffrey Wilhoit, Foley artist

James Moriana, Foley artist

Outstanding sound mixing for a comedy or drama series (one hour)

Ronan Hill, production sound mixer

Richard Dyer, production sound mixer

Onnalee Blank, re-recording mixer

Mathew Waters, re-recording mixer

Explains Todd-AO’s Kimmel: “During the climactic scene in ‘And Now His Watch is Ended,’ Daenerys, in trade for an army, has given away one of her dragons. The dragon['s voice] was constructed from a collection of about 10 different kinds of animals, and the most important objective of this scene in the dragon design was to create the greatest possible contrast between the poignant cries for mommy and powerful, vengeful roars of fire unleashed toward the man who dared to threaten her. It was a challenge to find all these nuances in bits and pieces of a range of animals and then sculpt them so that they sounded like they were all emitted by the same creature.”