‘Saints and Strangers’: Thanksgiving feast showcases sound mixing

The acclaimed “Saints and Strangers” told the story of the founding of America. This two-parter, which aired last fall on National Geographic Channel, depicted the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 and the struggles of the Pilgrims with the Native Americans during their first year in the new world culminating with the first celebration of Thanksgiving.

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Many of the rave reviews made mention of the elaborate production values, especially during the Thanksgiving feast. Leading the sound mixing team — which was responsible for the levels of the various sounds be they dialogue, ADR, incidental or effects — was one-time Emmy nominee Dieter Keck (“Gettysburg,” 2011). Foley mixing was done by Shawn Kennelly, who won three of his eight Emmy bids for “24” in 2005, 2007 and 2010. And the two lead re-recording mixers were R. Rusty Smith and two-time Cinema Audio Society nominee Robert Edmondson.

At this year’s Emmy Awards, “Saints and Strangers” is eligible in Best Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie. Last year, this Emmy went to the miniseries “Bessie”over rival nominees “American Crime,” “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Houdini” and “Texas Rising.” This year, new editions of “American Crime” and “AHS” will be in contention.

Nat Geo Emmy submissions: ‘Saints and Strangers,’
‘Story of God’ below-the-line category placements

At the recent Cinema Audio Society awards, which recognized only programs that aired in 2015, the winner of the equivalent race was an episode from the second season of “Fargo.” It contended against an installment from the first season of “American Crime,” two from “American Horror Story: Hotel” and one from the sophomore edition of “True Detective.” All of these nominees but “American Crime” are eligible at the upcoming Emmys.

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