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In the Heights‘ supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Lewis Goldstein, production sound mixer Drew Kunin and editor Myron Kerstein are the guests on a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Behind the Screen.
John M. Chu’s anticipated motion picture based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical has arrived in theaters after a one-year delay due to the pandemic. Set in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, the Warner Bros. release features an ensemble cast led by Anthony Ramos (Usnavi), Leslie Grace (Nina), Corey Hawkins (Benny), Melissa Barerra (Vanessa), Olga Merediz (Abuela Claudia), Jimmy Smits (Kevin Rosario) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Piraguero).
“All the songs were recorded live at some level,” Kunin explains, describing how they captured performances on set.
He relates that the “Champagne” number, performed live by Ramos and Barerra on location in an apartment, “was very challenging because of the way it was shot and choreographed.”
“This is a musical number that’s a one … that’s also recording two people live,” adds Kerstein.
Of the “96,000” number, Kunin relates, “That began with a very long Steadicam shot that goes a couple blocks. That was very hard for us to do in terms of the throw of the microphones. … By the time we get to the pool there’s a huge amount of extras. That’s a place where we opted to play the playback big on speakers for everyone so they could dance to it, and it helped to pump up the crowd.”
The team also discusses numbers including “When You’re Home,” “Blackout,” “Benny’s Dispatch,” “Paciencia y Fe” and the title song, “In the Heights.”
Hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Behind the Screen features cinematographers, editors, sound professionals and other artists behind the making of motion pictures and episodic series. You can listen and subscribe below.
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