×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sound Teams Detail Aural Aspects of Five New TV Drama Series

With all the talk about streaming platforms and pay cable providing the best content and grabbing the lion’s share of Emmy Awards during this era of Peak TV, traditional network shows sometimes tend to be overlooked. To remedy that omission, here are five greatly anticipated network programs that spare neither tools nor talent to deliver top-notch production values — in this case creating high-quality sound to support their equally excellent visuals. The sound pros here who push the envelope comment on their creative vision.

The Brave (NBC) 9/25
Building heart-pounding tension is key for this hour-long drama series that follows a group of soldiers who carry out dangerous missions behind enemy lines. Anne Heche stars as the head of their tactical command center.  “It’s a very unique environment where we wanted the sound perspective to be more vocalized rather than filled with the familiar sound effects you’ve heard in the ‘Bourne’ movies, for example,” says supervising sound editor Jay Nierenberg, who will continue with the series after the pilot. “It was important to focus on the lifeline to these soldiers risking their lives, and to create sounds that form a human connection as opposed to just using beeps and bops from the technology in the room.”

Marvel’s Inhumans (ABC) 9/29
Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this series was partly shot on Imax cameras, since its first two episodes will be shown in Imax theaters. That meant the sound had to meet particularly high standards. For rerecording mixer Joe DeAngelis and crew, it was important to find the right way to combine the viewing needs of those watching the show on the giant screen and those watching at home on the small screen.  “We premixed the show in 7.1 with a 5.1 ceiling and sent it to rerecording mixer Scott Millan to do the full theatrical version,” DeAngelis says. After everything was approved, they had the tricky task of “squeezing a very big, dynamic soundscape down to spec for ABC air.” The biggest challenge, he adds, was dealing with the changes in frame-rate speed from Imax to video, and combing through each scene to find out what sounds should be played. “TV doesn’t really want very low or very high levels,” DeAngelis explains. “We had to go in and see what elements were important to the story and make sure it really cut through and could be heard at home.”

Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS) 10/1
After the murder of his daughter, tech innovator Jeffrey Tanner, played by Jeremy Piven, develops a crowd-sourcing app that he hopes the public will use to help identify her killer. The sound team focused on creating the aural elements of the tech-based drama. “There’s a lot of information flowing in from the public that our characters need to sort through,” says supervising sound editor Darren King. “We wanted to build up the angst in the room so you feel like you’re inside Jeffrey’s head when he’s fighting within himself. It’s subliminal and varies from scene to scene.” King and crew made sure the audience can “feel the heaviness of the room” and sense the protagonist’s emotions.

The Gifted (Fox) 10/2
Set in the “X-Men” universe, another sector of Marvel’s empire, the series follows ordinary parents on the run from a government government agency after they discover their two teenage children possess mutant powers. Critical to the story was the development of unique character profiles for the superhuman kids. “If you close your eyes, we wanted you to be able to recognize who they were just by hearing them,” says sound designer Jeff Brunello, who collaborated with co-producer Andrew Cholerton and supervising sound editor Brent Findley to define these unique sounds. Notes Findley: “The mutants have very specific powers that are part of their genes, so we wanted the sounds to come from an organic place.”

Valor (CW) 10/9
Cinematic realism drove the audio language for supervising sound editor Patrick Hogan and crew. “Valor” stars Christina Ochoa (“Animal Kingdom”) and Matt Barr (“Sleepy Hollow”) as elite U.S. Army helicopter pilots who perform clandestine missions. The drama includes multiple flashbacks to a mission that went terribly awry and that haunts the characters. “Creating realistic moments so you feel like you’re there was key for us,” Hogan says. “Then, in specific dramatic places, we stretched them for a bigger impact.” Instead of creating contrasting sounds between missions and life at home, the series was shaped documentary style so the characters continue to carry the weight of their assignments through their everyday lives.

More Artisans

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

  • Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays one

    How Production Designer Jade Healy Recreated the Beautiful Neighborhood of Mister Rogers

    Production designer Jade Healy is doing double duty this awards season. For one, her work can be seen in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” There, she created a world of angst and individuality, making use of negative space as a couple reaches the end of their relationship. In Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is

    'The Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'The Mandalorian' Among Art Directors Guild Nominations

    The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) has announced its nominations for the 24th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos and animation features. Among the films recognized for outstanding production design are James Mangold’s “Ford V Ferrari,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon [...]

  • Christian Bale, Matt Damon. Christian Bale,

    ‘Ford vs. Ferrari’ Director James Mangold to Receive AIS Harold Lloyd Award

    The Advanced Imaging Society has announced that Academy Award-nominated director, producer and writer James Mangold will be presented with its annual Harold Lloyd Award for filmmaking. The director and producer of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” will be honored during the Society’s 11th annual awards ceremony January 22 at Warner Bros. Studios. “Ford v. [...]

  • chadwick boseman 21 Bridges

    '21 Bridges' DP Seeks New York-Style 'Street' Cred in Philadelphia

    In director Brian Kirk’s “21 Bridges,” Chadwick Boseman plays a very different kind of hero than T’Challa in “Black Panther”: He’s an intense New York cop tracking a pair of killers throughout the city one fateful night, trying to box them in by closing the titular connections between Manhattan and the mainland. Along with Kirk, [...]

  • Two Popes Production

    How 'Two Popes' Production Team Re-Created the Sistine Chapel, Frescoes and All

    When Mark Tildesley read Anthony McCarten’s script for “The Two Popes,” he saw how integral the Sistine Chapel was to the narrative. As the film’s production designer, he knew he couldn’t film inside the Vatican, which meant he’d have to reproduce the location. “We did visit it with a leading expert — [producer] Enzo Sisti. His [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content