“Clarity is always the number one thing for us,” says re-recording mixer Ron Bochar of his work on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The rapid pace of Amazon’s period comedy series demands crystal clear sound to make the dialogue land. “They talk fast,” agrees production sound mixer Mathew Price. Though he notes that the saving grace with the pace of the line delivery is that the actors always “stick to the script,” allowing for an ease in recording. But it’s not always so easy to maintain clarity within the other elements of this massive production. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“Mrs. Maisel” is known for incorporating a great deal of music into each episode. In Season 3, music became more prominent thanks to the introduction of Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) as a crooner from 1960. Bochar reveals that “the Shy you see is not the Shy who sings.” In most cases, the vocals for his songs are provided by Broadway veteran Darius De Haas. For Bochar, that provided a great challenge in taking a clean vocal track from the studio and making “it feel as if it’s coming from the stage.” Bochar even uses music tracks to highlight and amplify certain instruments in Shy’s band as the camera passes over them in a shot. He explains that his goal is to make it seem “as if there’s a microphone on the camera.”
Before Bochar can handle the sound mix in post-production, Price is responsible for capturing everything on set. In order to capture Midge’s (Rachel Brosnahan) epic stand-up comedy routines, he ensures that the actress is “always wired.” In fact, he goes to great lengths to modify old microphones by inserting modern day lavaliers.
When Midge performed at the famed Apollo in the Season 3 finale, Price was not phased by the new large auditorium he had to record in. “I personally like the sound of the space… because I think the space tells so much of the story.” The setting isn’t an issue, but potentially having audio from the audience bleed into the audio from the stage certainly is. “We do it with the audience full out,” Price explains, in order to capture their honest reactions. The scene is given another pass with only Midge talking. The work may be time consuming, but it ensures that the team captures the best sound and dialogue possible.
Bochar and Price both received an Emmy nomination for Sound Mixing on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2. Price has an additional six nominations for “The Sopranos.” Bochar won an Emmy for his work on the HBO adaptation of “Angels in America” and is an Oscar nominee for “Moneyball.”
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